Russia's economy is being propped up by Wagner Group's gold smuggling operations, UK government report says

11 months ago 24
  • Russia's economy is being sustained by the Wagner Group's gold smuggling operations, the UK government says.
  • A report says the mercenary group has been sneaking "significant" amounts of gold out of Sudan.
  • Smuggled gold is being used to prop up the Kremlin's finances, the report claims.

Loading Something is loading.

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.

Russia's economy is being propped up by the Wagner Group's gold smuggling operations, according to a new UK government report. 

The report, authored by the UK's foreign affairs committee, accuses the mercenary group of sneaking "significant" amounts of gold out of Sudan. That gold is then used in trade that's boosting Russia's economy, it added, despite the nation being targeted by western sanctions amid Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine.

"Wagner's gold-smuggling operations from Sudan are significant, with one calling them 'critical to Russia's ability to withstand significant sanctions deployed against it for its illegal invasion in Ukraine,'" the report said. 

The US Treasury has already sanctioned four companies based in the United Arab Emirates, Central African Republic, and Russia for their connections to the Wagner Group in the illegal gold trade. 

"The Wagner Group funds its brutal operations in part by exploiting natural resources in countries like the Central African Republic and Mali," the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement in June. "The United States will continue to target the Wagner Groups' revenue streams to degrade its expansion and violence in Africa, Ukraine, and anywhere else."

Western sanctions were imposed on Russia in the year following its invasion of Ukraine. Those measures, which include a ban on most oil imports to the EU and $60 price cap on Russian crude, have severely crimped Moscow's finances according to some estimates, with Russia's energy revenue plunging 36% in May. And though Putin has downplayed the effect of sanctions, non-government statistics show that Russia's economy is spiraling and in a far worse state than it appears, two Yale researchers said.

Get the latest Gold price here.

Read Entire Article