GIZ has trained several national stakeholders to counter the movement of illicit minerals, terrorist financing and money laundering, as well as illicit financial flows, within the Artisanal Smallscale Miners sector of Liberia.
The joint training of national stakeholders is part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) due diligence guidance for responsible minerals supply chains and EU conflict minerals regulations, terrorist financing, money laundering, and illicit financial flows.
The training brought together miners, mining agents, civil society organizations, law enforcement officers, including the Liberian Immigration Service (LIS) and Liberian National Police (LNP) from four counties, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, and Bong counties, respectively.
The issue of smuggling of gold and diamond was high on the discussion, with emphasis on how to handle the movement of those minerals before it falls into the hands of terrorists.
The participants were told that the economy of every country trading of minerals, especially gold and diamond, need to go through the legal process before taking them away, starting with brokers, dealers, and then the government, through the ‘Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), before such minerals can be shipped out of the country.
Additionally, the participants were also informed that the process also looked at the terrorist financing linked to the smuggling of precious stones and the overview of the EU conflict minerals regulation and roles of producer countries, the civil society, industry, and others.
Liberia is a mineral-rich country, especially gold and diamond, but the proliferation of mining activities, coupled with illicit mining has made most of the minerals to be smuggled out of the country.
Meanwhile, the participants have expressed appreciation for the training, and recommended to the government and its partners to provide equipment that will detect minerals on all the checkpoints and border posts to enhance security capacities in countering mineral smuggling.
“Gold or diamonds can easily be carried without anyone noticing it, unless there is a device that detects it when it is hidden under clothes,” said Geneve Suah Flomo, a participant, representing civil society organizations.
This EU-funded training, which is being implemented by GIZ, was held in partnership with Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), LIS, LNP, German Corporation, and the Mano River Union (MRU).