Zimbabwe’s government said on Tuesday it would investigate allegations of fraud and corruption revealed by a documentary on gold smuggling and money laundering in the country.
Gold Mafiaa four-part journalistic investigation by the Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeeraargues there are syndicates with connections to government officials who use Zimbabwe’s gold exports to launder money.
“The government views the allegations in the documentary in a very serious light,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said during a press conference. “Anyone who finds themselves guilty of fraud, corruption or any other crime will be prosecuted.”
The country has large gold reserves and the precious metal represented about a third of all exports in May last year, according to official data.
Gold Mafia shows how gold dealers, licensed by Zimbabwean authorities, offer reporters posing as international criminals to launder money through Zimbabwe’s gold exports.
The first two episodes, which caused an uproar in the country, were broadcast in March. Two more episodes will air in April.
The government appeared to distance itself from the traders on Tuesday. Mutsvangwa said “showy behavior and mentioning celebrities’ names in the documentary should not be seen as a proclamation of government policy”.
Earlier in March, Zimbabwe’s central bank dismissed allegations made by the TV investigation as “false allegations that want to create the impression that the bank is Southern Africa’s washing machine”.
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