Fears of Gold-smuggling in Guyana

Up to this week, gold declarations totaled 106,000 ounces—about a third of the target this year—but Chairman of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Board of Directors Major General Joe Singh expressed worry that some of the production is being smuggled out of the country.

The figure should be higher if everything is being declared to the Gold Board, Singh told miners at the bi-monthly meeting of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA). He referred to stories of people going into certain interior airstrips with money to purchase gold. “Where that gold is going I have a suspicion because I understand that there’s a lucrative cross border movement of gold,” said Singh.

The law demands that all gold produced in the country must be declared to the authorities and sold to the board. However, estimates indicate that only about 50% of the gold produced goes through this process, according to President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Gold-mining is Guyana’s third largest earner of foreign exchange.

For original article, see http://www.stabroeknews.com/2011/news/stories/05/06/joe-singh-worried-over-gold-smuggling/

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