WILLEMSTAD - Curaçao has immediately banned the import, export, and transit of gold from Venezuela
In anticipation of legislation, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath has signed a ministerial regulation that makes the ban effective immediately. Gold mining in Venezuela has increased in recent years. This is partly explained by restrictions in the oil industry due to the domestic economic crisis and the imposed foreign sanctions.
As a result, large quantities of gold are mined in the neighboring country and, among other things, transported through Curaçao (in transit) to other countries in the world. “However, Curaçao as a transit country does not receive meaningful income from this trade, which means that the economic and financial effects of this are very limited.
Research shows that Venezuelan gold mining seems to be closely related with practices such as illegal mining, capital flight, oppression and exploitation. There are indications that the trade in and transport of that gold may be accompanied by various forms of organized, cross-border and undermining crime,” said the government of Curacao in a press release.
“Criminal investigations that have been conducted on the ABC islands give an indication that the trade in and transport of Venezuelan gold and the resulting cash flows can be accompanied by (drug or other) smuggling, forgery and money laundering. This entails integrity and security risks that cause great concern both locally and internationally.”
“In view of the high risks, the government of Curaçao intends to take all necessary measures to prevent Curaçao from suffering reputational damage at international level that is related to the trade in and transport of gold from Venezuela. The government has therefore started a process to bring about a national decree containing general measures (LBham), including specific rules. Pending this legislation, trade in gold from Venezuela is prohibited directly or through other countries through the ministerial regulation.”