Gold worth $19.5bn ‘unaccounted for’

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Johannesburg - A veritable mountain of Ghanaian gold is the most likely reason for what looks like $19.5 billion (R272 billion) in unexplained illicit financial flows out of South Africa.

Earlier this year, a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) made the startling accusation that almost all of South Africa’s gold had been “smuggled” out of the country between 2000 and 2014 – gold worth $113 billion in 2014 money terms.

The finding has been partially debunked a number of times and has sparked a heated debate in the international research community around illicit financial flows.

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