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Dominic Raab’s New ‘Golden Boy’ Role



Conflicts of Interest or Just Business as Usual for Politicians?

Spencer CampbellBullion.Directory precious metals news 24 May, 2024
By Spencer Campbell

Founder / CEO at SE Asia Consulting

Dominic Raab, who once dispensed justice as the Lord Chancellor, has now struck a different pot of gold as a senior strategic advisor to the World Gold Council (WGC) and Appian Capital LLP.

With a gleam in his eye and a smile worthy of a ‘golden boy,’ Raab is ready to navigate the murky waters of international mining and global affairs.

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After a six-year legal career, Raab transitioned to politics and rose through the ranks of the Conservative Party to become the Secretary of State for Justice.

But when the political tide turned, he discovered that there’s always a pot of gold waiting for politicians who lose their sheen.

Now, he’s collecting a handsome retainer of £100,000 plus VAT from the World Gold Council (WGC) and a princely £118,000 plus profits from Appian Capital LLP.


Golden Balls-Up?: Conflicts of Interest or Just Business as usual for politicians?

With two lucrative consulting roles on his plate, Raab is finding himself tangled in the web of ethical quandaries.

The World Gold Council (WGC), an international trade association, tapped Raab to lead an investigation into illicit gold trading. Raab will spend five months developing a report on how to curb illegal mining, smuggling, and organized crime in the gold market.

His consultancy, Reya Ltd, will pocket the retainer.

The firm, co-founded by Raab and his wife Erika Beatriz Rey De Assis, operates with transparency approved by ACOBA. To learn more about Erika and her partnership in Raab’s political journey, check out this article about her here.

At the same time, Raab advises Appian Capital LLP, a private equity firm specializing in critical minerals. For £118,000 a year plus a share of profits, Raab will spend 44 hours a month supporting global mining investments, perhaps giving him a new appreciation for ‘golden balls-ups.’ Appian’s influence extends across Dubai, Johannesburg, and Perth, where CEO Michael Scherb has established the firm’s mining empire.


Dominic Raab’s Golden Future

Whether Raab will manage to avoid a ‘golden balls-up’ or find himself embroiled in further controversy is uncertain.

With two high-stakes consulting gigs and ethical minefields on every side, the golden boy might need all his legal and political savvy to navigate these glittering opportunities.


Dominic Raab’s Review of Russian Gold’s Path

As Dominic Raab settles into his World Gold Council role, he faces the daunting challenge of investigating how Russia manages to keep its gold flowing despite a web of international sanctions.

Russia’s gold industry, with its notorious ties to the Wagner Group mercenaries operating in Africa, has found a potentially illicit path to markets via more lax jurisdictions like Hong Kong.

Raab, known for wielding the gavel as Lord Chancellor, now holds a new responsibility: to hammer out a solution to the global ‘blood gold’ trade.


Russian Gold’s Journey: From Africa to International Markets

The Wagner Group—a quasi-state Russian mercenary organization—has leveraged instability in African countries like Sudan and the Central African Republic to exploit their gold resources.

In doing so, it has circumvented sanctions to supply Russian gold into global markets, generating substantial funding for Russia and regional conflicts.

The gold is then allegedly funneled through front companies and dubious refineries that ‘clean and legitimize’ its onward travel to marketplaces like Dubai and Hong Kong, where Western style sanctions against free Russian trade are weaker or nonexistent.

I detail some of these routes where Russian Gold Can Find Paths to Global Markets, which reveals how these financial hubs use perfectly legal loopholes to process and legitimize this gold before it is traded worldwide.

Most recently gold has found the most eager market in Hong Kong.

Here, accredited refineries can potentially offer a layer of legitimacy that can mask the gold’s origins, allowing it to be sold to mainland China, which remains the largest consumer.

The blog post CGSE Accredited Refineries sheds light on this intricate network, describing how Russia’s gold can potentially be laundered into broader markets via the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society Accredited Refineries.


Dominic Raab’s Potential Recommendations

Raab’s investigation is expected to offer strong recommendations that may include:

  1. Enhanced Supply Chain Scrutiny: Introducing stringent standards to trace the source of gold entering Dubai and Hong Kong, ensuring supply chains are ethically sourced.
  2. Sanctioning Key Facilitators: Widening sanctions to target any entity or intermediary laundering Russian gold.
  3. International Collaboration: Urging greater cooperation among international mining companies and governments to clamp down on illegal gold trading.
  4. Improved Enforcement Mechanisms: Creating frameworks for transparent monitoring and auditing to limit the flow of Russian ‘blood gold.’

Raab’s report could reshape how the global community perceives and responds to illicit gold trading.

Whether his findings will effectively sever Russia’s gold ties to market via sanction-free hubs, or remain another advisory shot in the dark, remains to be seen.

Spencer author Spencer Campbell

Spencer Campbell is a Director at SE Asia Consulting Pte Ltd, and provides key advisory services across the Mining and Precious Metal Refining Sectors, working with a number of leading gold refiners and processors.

EDITED FOR CONTENT. This article was originally published here

Edited Dominic Raab image originally by Richard Townshend from CC BY 3.0

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