Sheiman’s son, Zingman the Lord of War, and former security forces are engaged in secret gold mining activity in Zimbabwe

7 mins

На русском языке: Сын Шеймана, «оружейный барон» Зингман и экс-силовики тайно добывают золото в Зимбабве
На беларускай мове: Сын Шэймана, «зброевы барон» Зінгман і экс-сілавікі таемна здабываюць золата ў Зімбабвэ

The Lithuanian Siena publication, «Let’s deal with it» program of Belsat TV channel, Hadija Sharife, Mafira Kureva, Alexey Karpek (@menskdoldrums), Prosper Tatenda, Stanislav Ivashkevich and OCCRP released a joint investigation, in which, thanks to the documents of the Pandora Papers, the question is answered: who is behind the Belarusian gold mining business in Zimbabwe?

Zim Goldfields — Belarusian company in Zimbabwe, which no one knew about

It all started in November 2020, a Chinese company began to bury gold mines in the Mutasa area of Zimbabwe, then 10 people were buried alive and it turned out that this site belongs to the Belarusian company Zim Goldfields — this was the first mention of this company in open sources.

Investigative journalists found out that Zim Goldfields was created in 2018. And 70% of it was owned by the British firm Midlands Goldfields Limited, which in turn was managed through the Seychelles company Midlands Goldfields Foundation. The latter was founded in December 2017 by Alexander Zingman and Sergey Sheiman, Viktor Sheiman’s son.

Who is Eugeny Zhovner and what does this have to do with Belgeopoisk company?

To carry out work on sites in Zimbabwe in 2018, the Belarusian company Belgeopoisk was hired, which is owned by Globalcastom Management, one of the owners of which is Eugeny Zhovner. According to the investigators, it was he who signed the documents on the creation of Zim Goldfields.

By the way, earlier Zhovner worked in the Office of the President, and he is called a confidant of Viktor Sheiman within the companies.

The company Belgeopoisk was established in 2016 and is engaged in geological exploration of subsoil in other countries. In addition to Zimbabwe, their geologists went on a business trip to South Sudan. It is noteworthy that they have their own «security service», where former security forces work and together with the geologists go on business trips.

One of them is Eugeny Chanov, ex-Spetsnaz officer, who is the First Director of the first Belarusian private security company GardService. In addition, it is Chanov who holds the position of Director Deputy of Belgeopoisk.

Alexander Zingman in Africa is engaged not only in gold mining

From the documents published by Pandora Papers, investigators found out that Zim Goldfields is far from the only company that appears in Belarusian-African relations.

In 2016, Alexander Zingman, together with Alexander Shakutin, the pro-governmental businessman, founded Afex Company Limited in Hong Kong.

Based on the data obtained, this company was engaged in the supply of Belarusian equipment to Africa and was liquidated in 2018.

Journalists tried to take a comment from all the participants in the investigation. But Alexander Shakutin was one of the few who made a contact and confirmed that Afex really worked in Africa:

«We had a work programme in Africa. But European banks refused to work with this company because I am close to [Lukashenko]. Accordingly, I decided not to interfere in the work of the company», –Alexander Shakutin said.

Comments on Alexander Zingman’s ties with Zim Goldfields and Afex Company Limited were also obtained through his Dubai-based company AFTrade.

However, in response, the latter threatened to accept «immediate» lawsuits before the publication of the investigation and stated that Alexander Zingman «is not associated with Sergei Sheiman in business relations or operating companies».

Details of the investigation can be found in the program «Let’s deal with it». The Lithuanian part of the investigation is published in the Siena material.

By the way, 3 hours after the publication of the investigation about Zimbabwe, Zingman’s plane took off from Riga, landed in Minsk and headed to Nigeria. Now it flies to the capital — to the city of Abuja.

We remind that Viktor Sheiman, the former Head of the Administration of the President of Belarus, is suspected of organizing the so-called «death squads», which are responsible for killing the leaders of the Belarusian opposition and Russian Channel One cameraman Dmitry Zavadsky.

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