During an undercover investigation by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, one of Zimbabwe’s most powerful ambassadors, Uebert Angel, promised to use his position to launder millions of dollars through a gold-smuggling scam. (I-Unit).
Angel, who was named ambassador-at-large and presidential envoy by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in March 2021, told reporters that his diplomatic standing would allow him to bring significant amounts of filthy currency into the nation.
The 44-year-old, who claims to be a prophet and runs the Good News Church, which has branches in 15 countries, said he would organize a scheme to trade undeclared cash for Zimbabwe’s gold.
Recipients of the gold may then sell the precious metal for legal tender, essentially clearing their funds.
Angel and his business partner Rikki Doolan also claimed that Mnangagwa approved of their laundering operations.
Mnangagwa has been in power since November 2017, when Zimbabwe’s notorious previous leader Robert Mugabe was deposed in a military coup.
“You want gold, gold we can do it right now, we can make the call right now, and it’s done,” Angel told Al Jazeera’s reporters. “It will land in Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe can’t touch it too until I get to my house. So, there can be a diplomatic plan.”
“So, it is a very, very easy thing,” he said.
In an operation that was a part of the “Gold Mafia” investigation into multiple gold-smuggling groups operating in Southern Africa, with Zimbabwe and South Africa serving as important hubs, Angel made the offer.
The study uncovers how these criminals used Western sanctions intended to punish the government of Zimbabwe as a chance to transport enormous amounts of gold and launder hundreds of millions of dollars via a convoluted network of businesses and bribery.
Al Jazeera reporters were given a variety of options to clean up the traces of corruption from their shady money while masquerading as Chinese citizens seeking to launder big quantities of money.
Using Angel’s influence on the international stage was one of those methods. The pastor-diplomat’s official mission is to recruit investors for Zimbabwe.
Angel nonetheless made it apparent that he was ready to assist in the smuggling of gold and money laundering.
Source | Al Jazeera