Switzerland’s Niche in Global Gold Trade Draws Scrutiny

Argor-Heraeus and other Swiss gold refiners are starting to be held accountable for their industry’s alleged role in unlawful transactions and mining abuses.

 All four Swiss-based refiners have been accused in recent years of lapses related to the alleged facilitation of money laundering, human rights abuses and war crimes… a parliamentary proposal made last year for new restrictions on the industry’s acquisition of gold. Voters may have a say in about two years on a measure that could force refiners and other multinationals to disclose data on the human-rights records of their suppliers.

.. Switzerland imports gold in quantities nearly equal to the amount officially taken from the earth in any given year. Last year, Switzerland imported the equivalent of 81% of the world’s gold production from mines

.. According to a decision Swiss federal prosecutors issued last year, gold looted in the Democratic Republic of Congo to fund armed conflict was refined by Argor roughly a decade ago. Argor “provided assistance” to war crimes