Reporters – From the Sahel to Dubai: on the trail of dirty gold
In the Sahel, the number of informal mines is rising as gold mining areas escape state control. Mali is emerging as a gold-purchasing hub for Sahelian countries, while Dubai has become the main destination for artisanal gold production from the African continent. From the hidden smelters of Bamako to the artisanal mines of the Ivory Coast and a major gold market in Dubai, Caroline Dumay investigates the transforming global gold industry.
The United Arab Emirates is being singled out for turning a blind eye to the origin of the gold bars entering its territory. In response, international institutions such as the OECD are calling for stricter industry regulations.
This investigation, carried out over more than a year in several African countries, was sparked by the arrest of Franco-Malagasy ‘mules’ at Johannesburg airport in December 2020 carrying 73 kilograms of gold in their luggage. The journalist behind this documentary, in collaboration with Stefan Carstens, Graham Walsh, Anne-Fleur Lespiaut, Damien Koffi and Walid Ag Menani, tried to uncover who owned the gold.