Ecuador has been revealed as a major transit hub for illegal Peruvian gold to the United States. #the evolution is attributed to Peru’s attempts to crack down on gold trafficking. The exposed inner workings of the gold trafficking network were exposed after case files were obtained by El Comercio, who state that two companies used emissaries to make deals with Peruvian gold smugglers on the border.
It is believed that the illegal and foreign origins of the illegal metal were covered using false documents and identities. After 2013, the two companies went on to become principal gold exporters. A statement issued by the government named US-based companies Republic Metals Corporation, Kaloti Metals and Logistics and MVP Imports as their main customers. Seven executives from Clearprocess and Spartan were arrested by police during the June raids, and have since been charged with money laundering.
The emergence of Ecuador as a transit point for Peruvian gold can be attributed to Peru’s attempts to introduce traceability of supply chains in a bid to stop the hold from being laundered. The attempt meant that many of Peru’s gold exporters were under suspicion, which mean a change in trafficking patterns occurred. Although the patterns are changing, it appears the same names keep arising as buyers of alleged-illegal gold.
RMC is one such company, and is known to be embroiled in numerous mining scandals. However, a recent statement states that the company is working with aggregators in an effort to prevent gold operations being used for money laundering. It also stated that it only deals with single source mining entities.