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How 7.4 tonnes of Venezuela's gold landed in Africa -- and then vanished
By Gabriele Steinhauser and Nicholas Bariyo
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
ENTEBBE, Uganda -- The government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is selling off his country's gold reserves. Some of it has passed through a secretive operation in East Africa, a gambit that evades U.S. sanctions.
On two early-March flights, at least 7.4 tons of gold with a market value over $300 million moved from Venezuela to a refinery in Uganda, say officials in Venezuela and Uganda, a foreign diplomat, and Venezuelan opposition lawmakers, who have concluded Mr. Maduro's government exported the ingots.
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Kinesis Engages Contis to Launch UK, European Debit Card for Its Digital Gold and Silver Currencies
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
LONDON -- Today Kinesis Money announces the initiation of its U.K. and E.U. debit card program with Contis Group, the award-winning platform as a service that provides end-to-end banking and payments solutions. Kinesis has selected Contis for its European and UK debit card solutions and has officially started developments, scheduled for release in Q4.
The release of these euro- and pound-denominated debit cards will cement Kinesis' position in the market as a formidable global fintech player. The Kinesis debit card will allow Kinesis' clients in the U.K. and Europe to easily and efficiently use their Kinesis currencies to make purchases anywhere that has a merchant facility, as well as withdraw funds via global ATM networks. ...
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The gold arrived on a Russian charter jetliner in two shipments at the international airport in Entebbe, says Ugandan national-police spokesman Fred Enanga. The accompanying paperwork identified the ingots, some with stamped labels partially scratched off, as Venezuelan central-bank property, says a senior Ugandan police officer who saw the bars and documents. Flight records show the trips originated in Caracas, Venezuela.
The shipments expose one link in a global underground economy many suspect is helping Mr. Maduro cling to power by bypassing the U.S.-dominated international finance system. Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president, slapped financial and other sanctions on Venezuelan officials and institutions, and threatened penalties for others doing business with the regime.
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