Authorities in Guyana say the U.S. government is helping the South American country crack down on a massive international gold smuggling operation.
Mining Minister Raphael Trotman said Thursday that the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are helping track down the money generated by smugglers. Guyana estimates that some 15,000 troy ounces of raw gold are smuggled each week to New York and Miami as well as to Suriname, Brazil and Europe.
Trotman said the U.S. agencies reached out after they noticed large amounts of gold were being declared at U.S. ports but not in Guyana. He said the smuggled gold represents roughly 50 percent of production mined by small- and medium-scale miners.
Gold is Guyana’s main export.