Advocacy Group Raises Questions About Cambodia's Gold Imports

Cambodia imported about $15 billion worth of gold during five years from Singapore, according to government statistics compiled by nongovernmental organization Mother Nature Cambodia — a figure so large, corruption monitor groups say it raises alarms about potential financial crimes, particularly smuggling. Cambodian officials dismiss the accusation, saying much of the gold is simply transiting the country on its way elsewhere. The amount of imported gold — 407 tons — eclipses corresponding Singaporean export figures for the same commodity to all other countries during the same period, including several with larger economies than Cambodia, such as China, the data shows. It is also $12 billion more than the value of all of Cambodia's other imports from Singapore during the same period, said the monitor group based on publicly available records from the Ministry of Commerce, which do not break down specific goods or commodities. Mother Nature Cambodia's founder, Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, who revealed the export figures compiled from Singapore's Statlink database in a video released Monday, told VOA the discrepancies demand answers. "... In my interpretation of the documents, there's ample proof that these imports of gold are not being recorded. That in itself is wrongdoing if not an illegal act," he said Wednesday. He added that in the past, when large export-import discrepancies had been found in cases connected to illegal logging and sand dredging, the Cambodian government had blamed accounting inaccuracies. "Yes, there will be some discrepancies, but of course that's not going to explain how you have a discrepancy worth more than the budget of the entire state of Cambodia several times over," he said. Cambodia's draft budget for 2018 allocates $6 billion in spending. "This is why we all need an explanation from relevant Cambodian agencies, especially the General Department of Customs and Excise and the National... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Advocacy Group Raises Questions About Cambodia's Gold Imports, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Advocacy Group Raises Questions About Cambodia's Gold Imports





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Thursday, 4 October, 2018



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