Gold trafficking from Colombia to Dubai: Criminal mining and destruction of the environment
The next episode of "The Traffickers", about gold trafficking, begins in Dubai, the fancy destination of gold that, apparently, isn’t related to the illegal mines of Antoquia, Colombia. However, according to the Colombian Mining National Agency, 60% of the illegal mining in Colombia (around 233 towns) consists of gold exploitation. In fact, in 81 of those towns, guerrillas such as FARC, ELN, and criminal bands operate, which means that criminal groups are involved in the exploitation and trafficking of gold that then satisfies luxury markets.
According to the same source, while one kilo of coca costs approximately COP $4 million (the equivalent to US$1460) the same amount of gold costs between COP $80 and COP $90 million (US$29,218 and 32,870). That's why gold is sometimes referred as the “new Colombian coca”: It’s highly profitable and it’s almost perfect for laundering money since, once melted, it’s impossible to track its criminal or ilegal origin.
In fact, after the peace agreement between Colombian Government and FARC, illegal mining, specially gold trafficking, will be the main source of income expected for emerging criminal bands, after drug trafficking.