Simon Rudland, the co-owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco Zimbabwe, has dismissed the Al Jazeera documentary called “Gold Mafia” as sensationalized and extreme. He argues that the documentary only presents selective snippets of wild and broad claims without proper context or evidence to support them. In a short video posted on social media platforms this Friday, Rudland said:_
This is done to traumatise and sensationalise for maximum exposure. Any investigation into this documentary is welcomed and will reveal the extent of the fabrication of the information portrayed by Al Jazeera.
Rudland was responding to reports by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) Rudland is the one assisting broke the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) with money to buy gold from miners.
In the first episode of “Gold Mafia,” Al Jazeera claims that Simon Rudland is connected to Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF and has a unique agreement with the government that allows him to transport gold to Dubai and bring back cash to Zimbabwe. According to Simon Nango, a South African Airways customer service agent, Rudland’s bags are not searched and he uses Fly Emirates.
The documentary claims that due to sanctions on Zimbabwe, importing cash is difficult, and gold is an effective way to bypass those restrictions. Simon Rudland is accused of helping the government evade these sanctions by lending them money from his company, Gold Leaf Tobacco Zimbabwe, to buy gold from miners. Rudland then provides an advance payment to Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which is the sole buyer, refiner, and exporter of the precious metal. Fidelity buys the gold and gives it to Rudland to export.
According to former Finance and Economic Development Minister, Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe is losing around US$1 billion annually due to smuggling, and Simon Rudland is at the heart of this operation.
RBZ has frozen Rudland’s bank accounts together with those of his co-accused – Uebert Angel, Ewan McMillan, Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehlululi Dube, and Fredrick Kunaka.
Source. Pindula News