Home > Metalor > News > Metalor response to the article “Dirty Gold: Chasing the trace of the London Bullion Market” published on the web by Ojo Publico on June 9th, 2015


Metalor response to the article “Dirty Gold: Chasing the trace of the London Bullion Market” published on the web by Ojo Publico on June 9th, 2015

Metalor wants to strongly refute the allegations made by the group of journalists behind OjoPublico in the above mentioned article. Metalor has neither been financing ”the gold fever that has devastated large parts of South America in recent years” nor buying illegal gold in that territory. Such statements are simply false and lacking any evidence. In particular:

• It is radically false the fact that the judicial authorities of Peru have targeted Metalor regarding illegal mining, money laundering, illegal exports of gold, smuggling activities, organized crime, etc. or any other illegal behavior or activity. The truth is that contrary to the statements of the article, Metalor is not indicted or prosecuted by any judicial or administrative authority (Judicial Administration, Customs or tax authorities). The fact is that Metalor is actively supporting the Peruvian and Colombian administrations in their fight against that kind of illegal activities, and only in one instance in Peru is collaborating with the court of Callao regarding a case against a former customer of Metalor.

• No judicial document has been notified or communicated to Metalor neither in South America nor in Switzerland where it may be any indication whatsoever that Metalor deals, or has been knowingly dealing with dubious customers or suppliers or showing that Metalor is part of a police or judicial investigation. Metalor has nothing to hide and is ready to continue to collaborate with the authorities wherever it operates. It is Metalor policy to immediately stop business relationships whenever we detect or have the suspicion that customer or suppliers may be involved or related to any kind of illegal activities. This was precisely the case of Goldex in Colombia, where Metalor decided to stop business as soon as the first negative information about this company did show up in the media, long time before authorities took any action. In addition, and in line with Anti-money Laundering Swiss regulations, this was duly reported to the Swiss supervisory authorities.

• Regarding Peru in particular, only one former customer of Metalor had 10,5 kilos of gold confiscated by the SUNAT in January 2014 due to alleged illegal origin of the gold. The case is still today under investigation by the Court and Metalor is supporting it in all respects. Other than that, no Metalor customer has been subject to such type of actions. To Metalor knowledge, no payment whatsoever made by our company has been ever confiscated.

• Finally, we can confirm that OjoPublico contacted Metalor through Mr. Castilla, who sent a list of questions on the 8th of June. However, no urgency was indicated and no dead line was set. Metalor got the answers ready to be sent when the article was published on June 9th 2015, thus only one (1) day after we have received the questions. Metalor has of course never been informed of this publication by the journalist concerned. This reveals that such contact was a simple cover up formality with no intention to listen to the companies mentioned in the article or double checking its wrong assumptions.

What OjoPublico has decided to ignore in its article is that Metalor is subject to the supervision of the Swiss Financial Regulatory Authority (FINMA) in terms of Anti-money laundering, which means a very tight control of Metalor activities with very demanding yearly third party audits, all of them successfully passed. Equally, that Metalor is as well certified not only by the LBMA as highlighted in article, but by other International Organizations such as Fairmined, Fairtrade, or RJC (Responsible Jewelry Council), which validate on regular basis, again through independent third party audits, that the company does respect human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, sustainable mining practices, etc., wherever it operates all the way through its supply chain. This is the result of years of hard work and cooperation with those international bodies and NGOs. For sake of transparency, these certifications are publicly available on our web site.

In terms of origin of the gold, Metalor supply chain due diligence does require the clear identification of the source of the gold including verifications of operations and export licenses according to local legislation. In absence of these, Metalor refrains from accepting such supply source. Furthermore, we monitor our suppliers, including regular site visits by Metalor staff. These processes are in turn audited by the above mentioned international organizations.

Metalor is fully aware of the challenges of doing business in certain regions and remains committed to do so in line within its standards, the ones of international associations such as LBMA and RJC as well as local regulations, respecting human rights and Metalor Responsible Refining ethics. Furthermore, and in this sense, Metalor is acting per OECD recommendations for industry to contribute positively to the development of the small scale mining sector as we are doing by supporting organizations in this field (such as the Swiss Better Gold Initiative, Fairmined and Fairtrade organizations).

We regret that OjoPublico has decided to present an image of Metalor that not only disregards the facts and undermines the work done by Metalor in this industry, but that provides a false and distorted image of the role that this company is providing to the development of Peru and Colombia.

Neuchatel, June 12, 2015

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