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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

More than 30 Russians questioned in Sudan over gold smuggling case

Sudanese prosecutors have questioned more than 30 Russians working for mining company Al-Sulaj Mining Ltd on suspicion of smuggling gold. A Russian arrested. On this subject informed Bloomberg citing sources.

Al-Sulaj Mining Ltd CEO Riyad Alfatikh confirmed to the publication that among the 58 employees questioned for smuggling and harming the economy, there were 36 Russians. According to him, the interrogations were conducted at the Sudanese Attorney General’s office from January 14 to February 14.

On January 14, the head of the security service of Al-Sulaj was arrested for trafficking five kilograms of gold, his name has not been released. His arrest is being appealed because, according to the company’s legal adviser, Huveda Mursal, the gold was bought in a market in the town of Atbara, and not smuggled out.

“Even if someone in the company smuggled gold, it doesn’t mean that the whole company is doing something illegal,” the CEO of Al-Sulaj said.

The company complies with all laws and regulations governing mining operations in Sudan, he said.

According to the Central Bank of Sudan, quoted by Bloomberg, from January to September 2022, the country exported about 27 tons of gold worth $1.6 billion. Meanwhile, the Sudanese government has previously admitted that up to 80% of Sudanese products are smuggled. across the border.

Bloomberg notes that the interrogations of the Russians took place in the context of a visit to Sudan by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in early February. According to the publication’s sources, the actions of the Sudanese authorities were partly aimed at reassuring Western countries concerned about Russia’s growing influence in Africa.

In July 2022 CNN published an investigation alleging that Russia, in return for supporting a military coup in Sudan, was given the opportunity to secretly export gold from Sudan. According to the television company, military aircraft and a land route were used for this.

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