A United Nations report has revealed that tonnes of gold are smuggled from the Democratic Republic of Congo as its production still continues to be underreported.
The UN report states that billions of dollars’ worth of gold is smuggled primarily through the DR Congo’s eastern border and into the global supply chain. In its annual report, the UN Group of Experts on the DR Congo estimates that North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces reported official production of just over 60kg of artisanal gold in 2019, yet exported a total of just over 73kg.
The group estimates that at least 1.1 tonnes of gold were smuggled out of Ituri province alone in 2019 that would have earned the government up to $1.88 million in taxes had it been legally exported.
Per the estimates of the Germany’s Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, artisanal miners in DR Congo produce 15 to 22 tonnes of gold a year.
The Group of Experts said, “The country remained one of the Great Lakes region’s largest artisanal gold producers, and yet one of its smallest official exporters.” The report points out to the losses being borne as a result of illegal export and smuggling.