Gold Smugglers Sneak $2 Billion into Dubai
The gates at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport’s flights to Dubai would have provided an ideal scene for an award-winning suspense thriller starring a few foreign gold smugglers this summer.
According to Humeyra Pamuk with Reuters, billions of dollars worth of gold bullion has passed through these gates in route to Dubai so Iranians can more easily move its wealth across borders.
And you won’t believe how much physical gold bullions have been delivered to Iranian buyers in the past few months to satsify gold demand without adhering to strict Western financial regulations...
Official data released from Turkish trade documents shows that approximately $2-billion worth of gold was shipped to Dubai on behalf of Iranian buyers in August alone.
The shipments help Tehran manage its finances in the face of Western financial sanctions.
The sanctions, imposed over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme, have largely frozen it out of the global banking system, making it hard for it to conduct international money transfers. By using physical gold, Iran can continue to move its wealth across borders.
“Every currency in the world has an identity, but gold means value without identity. The value is absolute wherever you go,” said a trader in Dubai with knowledge of the gold trade between Turkey and Iran.
The identity of the ultimate destination of the gold in Iran is not known. But the scale of the operation through Dubai and its sudden growth suggest the Iranian government plays a role.
Turkey exported only $7-million worth of gold to the UAE in July, but exports quickly surged far beyond the billion-dollar-mark just one month later…
At that time, Turkey exported an astonishing $2.3–billion worth of gold and August and at least $2.1-billion was gold bullion. Roughly $1.9-billion – 36 tonnes – went to the UAE, according to the Statistics Office in Turkey.
Those exports done in secret to avoid Western sanctions.
A Dubai-based trader said that trade from Turkey directly to Iran had stopped due to the increased level of publicity around it. Allegedly, the Tehran wanted to avoid that publicity and that is why they opted for more indirect methods of trade instead of complying with Western sanctions.
Sources are keeping their identities private due to potential political and commercial ramifications.+12
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