Is a company associated with Lukashenka, which mines gold in Africa, financing the war against Ukraine?

3 mins

На русском языке: Компания, связанная с Лукашенко, добывающая золото в Африке, финансирует войну против Украины?
На беларускай мове: Звязаная з Лукашэнкам кампанія, якая здабывае золата ў Афрыцы, фінансуе вайну супраць Украіны?

The Nigerian newspaper Vanguard, citing an analyst for international affairs Emesakoru Enifome, writes that profits received by Belarusian officials from the trade in Zimbabwean gold are used to finance the armed groups of Russia and Belarus against the background of the food crisis in Africa. The analyst believes that the «gold mine» of Lukashenka’s officials in Zimbabwe is channels of financing Russian aggression against Ukraine. 

Enifome recalled that back in 2018, Viktor Sheiman made a series of deals in Zimbabwe for exploration of minerals: gold, platinum and rare earth metals. They began to be mined through Zim Goldfields, which was secretly owned by Sheiman’s son Sergei and «arms dealer» Alexander Zingman.

The Pandora Papers show that 70% of Zim Goldfields was controlled by the British shell company Midlands Goldfields Limited, which was controlled by Sergei Sheiman and Alexander Zingman through shell persons and a company Midlands Goldfields Foundation in the Seychelles. At the same time, Zingman masked his participation in the «gold enterprise» in every possible way.

«Both shell companies appear to have been created specifically to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by Viktor Sheiman’s official visit to Zimbabwe,» the analyst believes.

It is known that back in May 2018, Zim Goldfields received a five-year «special grant» to mine gold on a section of the Mutare river, a waterway in eastern Zimbabwe. And despite protests in Belarus 2020 and the outbreak of war, the Zimbabwean government’s cooperation with Lukashenka’s officials has not ended.

«The leadership of some African countries continues to cooperate with the regimes of Russia and the Republic of Belarus – in particular, the government of Zimbabwe, which in 2018 signed a contract with Belarus for gold mining in this African country and plans to officially formalize the extension of this contract in May 2023. Allowing an aggressor country to mine gold, including on the territory of Zimbabwe, can only be interpreted as aiding in the financing of international terrorism, since the millions of dollars earned from the trade in African gold go to finance the armed groups of Russia and Belarus, and only increase the level of threat to the survival of the peoples of Africa,» Enifome said.

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