BERN (Realist English). Switzerland recorded an abnormal increase in the volume of gold imports from the United Arab Emirates and occurred immediately after the introduction of sanctions against Russia due to a special operation on the territory of the former Ukraine.
In March, the Federal Office of Customs and Border Protection recorded 36 tons of gold imports amounting to CHF 2.1 billion from the UAE. This is more in one month than at any time in the last six years.
NGO Swissaid says that this raises questions about whether Russian gold is entering Switzerland via Dubai, and therefore, circumventing sanctions. China and Dubai are among the most important export destinations for gold from Russia, which is the second largest producer of gold.
China and the Emirate of Dubai are the most important export destinations for Russian gold.
“Switzerland and refineries have a duty to do everything possible to ensure that Switzerland does not become an escape route for Russian gold transiting through Dubai,” says Marc Ummel, who leads raw materials at Swissaid.
Dubai has become a key trading hub for gold over the last several years.
Swiss gold refineries, which are responsible for refining around 70% of the world’s gold, have stopped importing gold directly from Russia since sanctions were introduced at the end of February.
Switzerland is home to the headquarters of four of the world’s seven largest refining companies. Some Swiss refineries have already refused to import gold from Dubai due to the inability to verify its origin.