The net is closing on one of South Africa’s most notorious money launderers. In the final episode, the Gold Mafia boss issues a threat to anyway who breaks the oath of omertà. “What do you think is going to happen?”
“They kill you, don’t they?” “Exactly,” he replies.
A member of the same gang is now in hiding and speaks to the I-Unit from a safe house. “They will come after me, that’s a given. If I stay [in South Africa], I will be dead by the time this [film] hits the first five minutes of play.”
Other Gold Mafia bosses lure undercover reporters for the business to launder their dirty money with promises of political connections. A senior Zimbabwean diplomat is seeking the approval of the president to use an official plane to carry over a billion dollars of dirty cash from Hong Kong into Zimbabwe.
Two gold mafia bosses tell undercover reporters in Johannesburg, “There’s no president or head of state either of us can’t get to on this continent.” Another advises, “When you work you must always have the king with you. The president”.
Gold Mafia, a four-part series by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit looks at how society’s obsession with gold underwrites a global shadow economy. Investigators obtain the blueprints of money laundering operations that service southern Africa’s economic and political elite. And the investigation leads to the highest offices of state.