Gold smuggling still taking place from Curaçao and Aruba

WILLEMSTAD - Gold smuggling is still taking place between Venezuela and Curaçao. This is according to an international team of journalists and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Hundreds of kilos of gold from unauthorized producers are transported per month via couriers or by post from Colombia to Aruba and Curaçao.

Traders in Curaçao and Aruba sell the gold to traders in the United States and Europe. This is noted in a report from the Social and Economic Council (SER) that carried out specific research in the context of the opinion on the draft National Decree on General Measures replacing the temporary import, export and transit ban for Venezuelan gold.

SER indicates that gold that comes from Colombia or other Latin American countries can also be smuggled gold from Venezuela, where it is sold to local traders to launder, which has Colombia as the country of origin. By smuggling Venezuelan gold across the border and then adding it to the gold production of another country, international sanctions and conditions can be avoided, as is the case in Colombia.

The prohibition of import, export, and transit of Venezuelan gold does not prevent Venezuelan gold from being traded on Curaçao as smuggled goods or as gold that is "legalized" in one of the other neighboring countries of Venezuela before arriving here. "

For almost a year, an international team of journalists has been investigating the trade and smuggling of gold from Venezuela. Between 2014 and the end of 2018, more than 160,000 kilos of gold - market value of more than 6.5 billion euros - were transported via Aruba and Curaçao to international markets, of which 130,000 kilos via Curaçao.

According to the researchers, this gold comes from the Orinoco Mining Arch. There, Venezuelan gangs and Colombian guerrilla groups run the mines, without regard for the environment or miners. The national army also benefits and part of the profits reach the highest political circles. Gold mining is also accompanied by serious environmental pollution and violation of the rights of the local population.