The Malagasy Ministry of Mines admitted on Friday, June 24, that 36 kg of gold was stolen from its building, according to many rumors. The disappearance was noticed on June 1 during the transfer of duties between the previous management and the newly appointed team. This at the same time as an inventory of the safes was made in the presence of a bailiff. An investigation is ongoing and raises many security issues.
as reported from Antananarivo, Sarah Tetaud
For the national press, it is a flight “worthy of a Hollywood scenario”. 36 and a half kg of gold were stolen, as well as precious stones. An exchange estimated at 7 billion ariary (more than 1.6 million euros). The whole, carefully replaced by 24 kg of metal objects, mixed strips of iron or copper.
The safe in which the scientific exchange took place showed no signs of burglary.
Before this case, several questions arise. First, how come the Ministry of Mining has gold in its premises and it is not kept in the central bank?
During questioning, the communication service emphasizes that it was “seized” by the mining police or by the competent authorities, from persons who did not have an official permit to hold or circulate the precious metal. And in accordance with current texts, the seized mining products remain under the responsibility of the mining administration pending legal proceedings.
Second, how safe was the ministry safe? According to the communications service, it was necessary to intervene two people to open the safe: the holder of the key to the safe – an employee of the General Directorate of Mines – and the holder of the safe – he was also employed by the ministry.
Following the discovery of the theft, the state became a civil party and filed a complaint. An investigation is underway, a dozen people who have had high areas of responsibility at the Directorate-General for Mines, including the last four directors-general since 2018, are in custody.
This case, which scandalizes public opinion and provokes strong reactions on social networks, comes at a sensitive time for the executive. As other persistent rumors report the involvement of a government member in the case of 73 kg of captured gold bars seized in South Africa.
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