One of Zimbabwe’s most influential diplomats, Uebert Angel, offered to use his status to launder millions of dollars through a gold-smuggling scheme, during an undercover operation by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit).
Angel, appointed ambassador-at-large and a presidential envoy by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa in March 2021, told reporters he would be able to carry large volumes of dirty cash into the country using his diplomatic status.
The 44-year-old, who claims to be a prophet and heads a congregation — the Good News Church — with branches in 15 countries, said he would facilitate a scheme through which unaccounted cash could be exchanged for Zimbabwe’s gold. Recipients of the gold could then sell the precious metal for legitimate money, effectively turning their cash clean.
Angel and his business partner Rikki Doolan also claimed that their laundering operations had the approval of Mnangagwa, who has been in power since November 2017, when Zimbabwe’s controversial former leader Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup.
“You want gold, gold we can do it right now, we can make the call right now, and it’s done,” Angel told Al Jazeera’s reporters. “It will land in Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe can’t touch it too until I get to my house. So, there can be a diplomatic plan.”
“So, it is a very, very easy thing,” he said.
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