Transnational Economic Crime: The Example of “Gold Laundering"
Gold has an extreme attraction, both to corporate interests (large-scale mining or LSM) and to impoverished communities trying to make a living (artisanal and small-scale mining or ASM). At the same time, gold extraction occurs in highly problematic circumstances. Gold extraction as such is usually not illegal, but it attracts criminal operators of all kinds – as experienced during the times of the gold rushes in the 19th century. The typical stages of the supply chain are mining for new gold, either by LSM or ASM (which may include dredging), or recycling of old gold (normally the quota worldwide is two thirds in mined gold to one third in recycled gold).