Gold Mining Company
Even as the government of President Omar al-Bashir accuses his people of enriching themselves at the expense of the public, a company owned by one of his top military allies is flying gold bars worth millions of dollars to Dubai. He is using his family’s gold-mining firm to bypass central bank controls, according to half a dozen current and former officials, gold industry sources and a Reuters investigation.
The company Hemedti runs, called Algunade, is a private gold firm that uses mineral waste to process gold. It also sells gold bars to Dubai, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials, as well as a Reuters investigation.
Hemedti’s brother Abdul Rahim Dagalo and his sons are co-owners of Algunade, which is based in Jabal Amer, a mining concession in the country’s North State, Global Witness said. Hemedti himself is a director of the firm, the report said.
What is the Richest Gold Mining Company in Sudan?
Another of Hemeti’s brothers, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also serves as a deputy commander in the Rapid Support Forces militia, which has fought alongside the RSF and other armed groups in the Darfur region since fighting broke out in 2013. The two men are at odds with each other, but they have different sources of power and income, diplomatic and mining sources tell MEE.
CNN uncovered details of an elaborate Russian scheme to siphon off tens of thousands of tons of gold from Africa’s largest producer, a key stepping stone in the Kremlin’s effort to fortify itself against increasingly robust Western sanctions and buttress its war efforts in Ukraine. It has done so by partnering with an opaque network of Russian mercenaries, mining companies and political influence operations led by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.
In recent years, multiple sources familiar with the operation have told CNN that Russia has overseen a network of gold smuggling flights out of Sudan. The flights have been organized by Wagner Group, a shadowy – and largely unregulated – Russian mercenary network that has secured lucrative Sudanese gold mining concessions to help pay for its work.
These smuggling operations have been financed by Russian taxpayers, and have helped to cover the costs of the Russian government’s military intervention in Africa. It has also provided a way for Moscow to hide its involvement in the conflict, allowing it to claim battlefield casualties and distance itself from atrocities.
The smuggling operations have been facilitated by Russia’s secretive Prigozhin group, which is a shadowy wing of the Kremlin’s Ministry of Defense. Its employees have been involved in a number of illegal activities, including gold smuggling, and is a “proxy force” that allows Russia’s military to operate outside the law.
While Russia’s role is primarily to smuggle the gold out of Sudan, it has also used its mining expertise to secure lucrative gold mining concessions in several other African countries. In the Central African Republic, for example, a subsidiary of Wagner is mining gold tailings in a remote area.