In Part 3 of the Gold Mafia Al Jazeera documentary titled “El Dorado”, undercover reporters visit tour Dubai where they uncover how gold from Zimbabwe is used to launder vast sums of money by one of Africa’s self-confessed money launderers, Kamlesh Pattni.
According to Al Jazeera, Pattni exports gold from Zimbabwe through his company Suzan General Trading (Pvt) Ltd.
The Zimbabwean government pays him an incentive 18% export incentive to sell the gold overseas.
In the episode, Pattni is seen talking with Al Jazeera journalist “Mr. Stanley” who posed as a Chinese gangster who wanted his US$100 million dirty cash cleaned.
Pattni’s companies in Dubai like Golden Luxury Trading and Fiza Gold buy the gold from companies in Zimbabwe.
He owns both the importer and the exporter to facilitate money laundering. He said Zimbabwean gold is purified in Dubai.
Pattni receives dirty money plus a 10 percent commission. He then sells the gold he imports from Zimbabwe and pays the proceeds into a Dubai bank account set up for Mr. Stanley.
The money, in the form of USD cash, is collected from Hong Kong and brought to Dubai. From Dubai, the money is taken to Harare.
In Harare, the money will be declared as the proceeds of gold exported by Pattni’s company Suzan General Trading (Pvt) Ltd.
The money will be declared clean in Zimbabwe and Mr. Stanley will have clean money in a Dubai bank account.
The gold from Zimbabwe is sent to a Dubai refinery to be melted down again. The bars will be stamped with the refiner’s hallmark and the gold becomes a product of Dubai.
This makes the gold easier to sell because it will no longer be associated with Zimbabwe and its sanctioned leaders.
According to Al Jazeera, the Kenyan-born Kamlesh Pattni knows better than anyone how to smuggle gold worth millions of dollars — and get away with it.
Pattni has now moved his operations to Dubai and is smuggling gold from all over Africa, mostly from Zimbabwe.
When confronted with the evidence gathered against him as a part of the Al Jazeera investigation, Pattni denied involvement in any kind of money laundering or sanctions busting or offering to deal with funds he knew originated from illegal sources.
He said that when he met with the Al Jazeera undercover team, he thought he was meeting with an investor who wanted to sell a stake in hotel businesses and “to divest of a portfolio in China into gold buying and mining in Zimbabwe”. – (Pindula)