Henrietta Rushwaya, the president of the Zimbabwe Mining Federation, is allegedly cleaning US$5 million in dirty money weekly on a rotational basis.
In Episode 01 of Al Jazeera’s documentary titled Gold Mafia, Uebert Angel who is the presidential envoy to the Americas and Europe calls Rushwaya and asks her if she can sell gold to one Mr Stanley who has dirty money.
Angel says Mr Stanley would send a private jet every week to bring the money and collect the gold, as in another deal Angel and Rushwaya secured in Dubai.
The clients would get 100kgs every week less four per cent from international price. That means they get at a 4% discount.
From one deal brokered by Uebert Angel, the mafia is required to pay U$10 million in dirty cash to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
Rushwaya told Angel over the phone that US$5 million will be held at Fidelity for the duration of the relationship between the mafia and Zimbabwe. She added:
They get gold worth US$5 million every week. They take it out. Bring another US$5 million. If they are bringing US$20 million, US$10 they put into Fidelity.
This means half of the amount will remain with Fidelity, Rushwaya would clean US$5 million weekly as usual while the remaining US$5 million would be cleaned by one of her companies.
This means the mafia can launder ten million a week.
Rushwaya was arrested in 2020 for trying to smuggle 6 KGs of purified gold out of the country. She was reportedly planning to leave Zimbabwe for United Arab Emirates’ tourist hub Dubai when she was intercepted by law enforcement agents. Rushwaya told Angel over the phone:
You can easily open an account for them under one of your many companies. We are the only sector in the country that is paying in foreign exchange on cash basis.
According to the Al Jazeera documentary, the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank is involved in money laundering mainly because the southern African nation is under sanctions.
The governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr John Mangudya recently said there are no sanctions on Zimbabwean exports and imports adding that the southern African nation could export gold freely.
However, the documentary says gold cannot be traced, unlike cash that why Zimbabwean authorities prefer illicit deals.
Angel says he has a company called Billion Group which he owns. He says the company is in Zimbabwe, operating in Zimbabwe. He says when individuals with dirty money come, they just approach Billion Group instead of approaching someone they don’t know.