It is being peddled that gold is being smuggled to Suriname because it appears that there is a shortage; however it is my humble view that it is being used as a smokescreen for the powerful. Two years ago a Guyanese registered vessel owned by a prominent city businessman was detained in Curaçao with 10,000 ounces of gold with a street value of approximately US$12 million – quite a hefty sum.
The crew were all Guyanese, and two persons were charged. What has become of the investigation? Where is the boat and where is the gold? These are the things that the Guyana Gold Board should be looking into. The authorities should go all out and investigate the persons who were implicated. Only the big dealers who are financially capable, have the resources to mislead the authorities and tarnish the image of the smaller dealers with the publication of fabrications.
It is a known fact that gold prices have dropped worldwide. You can go online and see for yourself. Guyana is witnessing the lowest price in five years to hit the market. I have done my own investigations and survey on the companies that supply mining equipment and machinery to miners and it has become ridiculous. The sales have dropped drastically. The companies in an effort to recoup their investment are willing to sell equipment with little or no down payment. There are many dredges but many are idle; the mineral is dwindling.
The closure of the Bartica branch of the Guyana Gold Board is severely affecting persons who sell gold in that community, which is said to be the gateway to the interior. How can one be so audacious as to close down such entity? Who will buy the gold? Most obviously they will sell it to the unlicensed dealers and the big powerful dealers who have decoys in that area to purchase the gold for next to nothing.
With the insertion of the Brazilians into the mining industry, it is a known fact that they are some of the smugglers, and that some of them do it on a large scale.
The head of the Gold Board and the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana have their views on the situation saying that they don’t believe there is wholesale smuggling.
The authorities should encourage the illegal miners and buyers to become legal and let us stop this highhandedness that is prevailing in the mining industry. There is enough gold for everyone to live a comfortable life.