General Tiani calls for a freeze on all ongoing mining permits, a precautionary measure following a scandal that has reverberated across the country: a significant quantity of gold, illicitly transported from Niamey en route to Dubai, was seized at Addis Ababa airport earlier this month. Nigeriens are questioning the ownership and origin of this gold.
A total of 1400 kilograms of gold ingots, valued at over 60 billion CFA francs, were confiscated at Addis Ababa airport three weeks ago without any official documentation, as the shipment was bound for Dubai.
Ethiopian airport authorities promptly informed their Nigerien counterparts. Subsequently, 82 customs, police, gendarmerie, and forestry agents stationed at Niamey airport were relieved of their duties and reassigned. An official investigation has been initiated, as stated by the director-general of Niger’s customs. No further official information has been released thus far.
The Nigerian branch of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International expresses outrage and raises questions: how could such quantities of gold exit the country’s main airport without detection?
According to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Niger officially exported 235 kilograms of gold in 2022, valued at just under 10 million euros. However, investigations from Dubai reveal that the Emirates imported gold from Niger worth 457 million euros, highlighting a significant gap attributed to trafficking