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Solutions to Conflict Gold Smuggling from Venezuela, Congo, and Beyond: Event at the Atlantic Council

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Solutions to Conflict Gold Smuggling from Venezuela, Congo, and Beyond: Event at the Atlantic Council

Posted by Enough Team on December 11, 2019

Sasha Lezhnev, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, participated in a panel discussion at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center on December 10 titled “Venezuelan illegal mining: Transnational crime, displacement, and violence.”

The panel discussed illicit mining and gold trading in Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other countries, with Lezhnev highlighting investigations on conflict gold undertaken by The Sentry and offering several solutions to the broader issue. Specifically, Lezhnev emphasized the needs for

  • the U.S. and others to investigate and sanction gold traders and refiners who source conflict gold;
  • electronics, automotive, and manufacturing companies to require ALL of their suppliers to use smelters and refiners that have passed credible, independent third-party conflict minerals audits by 2021;
  • electronics companies, jewelry retailers, and financial institutions to conduct enhanced scrutiny on gold purchases from high-risk countries, including using the red flags outlined in the 2015 FATF typology report on gold; and
  • governments and industry to help formalize artisanal mining in high-risk areas to build up the responsible artisanal gold trade.

Watch the video of the event here.

About the event:

What could be done to stem this illicit source of income? How is the regime directly benefiting? What are lessons from past experiences abroad on how to deal with conflict minerals and unsustainable mining practices?

A conversation with:

Lisseth Boon
Investigative Reporter

Sasha Lezhnev
Deputy Director of Policy
The Enough Project

Frédéric Massé
Red de Monitoreo del Crimen Organizado en América Latina

Douglas Farah
IBI Consultants

Moderated by:

Emiliana Molina
Washington Political Correspondent

Welcome remarks by:

Jason Marczak
Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council