Malian Customs officers have seized 143kg of gold heading to neighbouring Guinea.
The 88 bars of gold worth $8.5m, were hidden in a car as dealers tried to smuggle it to out of the Mali’s West African neighbour.
The Malian government has said the smuggling of gold has been rampant in the Southern region of the country.
The gold bars were “destined to be exported without the knowledge of customs officers, which would have disrupted our economy”, Amidou Fakourou Bakagha, deputy director general of the customs service said.
Mali is the fifth largest producer of gold in Africa and makes a chunk of its export earnings from the refining and sales of gold.
The West African country, one of Africa’s landlocked nations, depends on its huge abundance of natural resources.
However, it has had to wholly depend on the gold from the South to cope. This is due to the security upheavals faced in the northern part of the country, where rebels have domiciled.
The Mali-Guinean border has seen a swathe of criminal activities in recent times, with gold being at the centre of it.
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.