Global Witness, citing confidential sources, said that in 2018 and 2019, Kaloti bought Sudanese gold that may have funded armed groups. The Dubai-based conglomerate had become a key cog in the dirty gold trade, buying the precious metal from sellers suspected of laundering money for drug traffickers and other criminal groups, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-led task force determined. “Kaloti’s business has evolved to comply with those changes and has consistently met or exceeded all applicable regulatory requirements, consistent with industry best practices,” the company said. The auditors shared their concerns with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, which runs the accreditation program and was set up in 2002 as part of a grand plan to make the emirate a world-leading hub for gold trading. Because the case did not result in charges or a Treasury designation, Kaloti never had a chance to see or challenge any of the evidence investigators had gathered. Gold companies are involved in roughly a quarter of all suspect transactions across the FinCEN Files. The investigation came to light in a batch of secret bank filings that describe the flow of more than $2 trillion in suspicious transactions through the global banking system. With Kaloti they thought they had a rare opportunity to send a message to the entire gold industry. Yet the company moved ahead with a plan to open a refinery in a new base of operations: Suriname, a tiny South American country and former Dutch colony that the U.S. State Department warns is a transit hub for the continent’s cocaine. In two decades, 26 foreign jurisdictions and financial institutions have been targeted. A lawyer who acts for the owner of both Salor and Trading Track declined to identify his client. “Should we have taken action? As Ivory Coast descended into a violent political crisis, Semlex and Gunvor tried to help its pariah regime buy weapons in violation of a U.N. arms embargo. He did, however, tell reporters that neither company has ever taken part in money laundering, illegal, or unethical conduct, and that neither have never been charged with any wrongdoing. “Kaloti was used to mask the source of a lot of those funds,” a former investigator said. In payment details, Kaloti referenced gold trading and Trading Track. In 1988, Al Kaloti opened a jewelry shop with his son-in-law, who had trained as a jeweler in Italy. “If you’re not being prosecuted or shut down, then what would stop you?”. Kaloti also began to build business ties with major corporations, including the Swiss refiner Valcambi, according to anti-corruption advocacy group Global Witness. For these reasons, it is not unusual for a precious metal transaction to attract bank scrutiny. Banks reported as suspicious thousands of transactions, worth $9.3 billion, involving Kaloti that occurred between 2007 and 2015. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
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