- Large-medium scale mining – The high barriers to entry of this industry and dominance of large corporate companies give rise to high levels of corruption where the ability to gain necessary clearances through illegitimate means will increase the profits and minimise the costs required. Theft of mined ore is also common where criminal groups infiltrate production supply chain and siphon mined ore for refining and retailing.
- Artisan-small scale mining – This form of sporadic small scale mining is hard to govern and there are low barriers to entry. Similar use of bribery and corruption can help facilitate such activities and illegally mined ore can then be smuggled to other jurisdictions to be refined and sold as proceeds to support the illegal operations.
- Recycling – The cash-for-gold business allows criminals to convert stolen good into cash quickly without any documentation of ownership.
Some red flags that companies should be aware of include inconsistent client occupation details with the corresponding gold transfer in the account; large movement of money/gold by companies/persons across jurisdictions known for money laundering activities; and lack of documents supporting proof of purchase or ownership of the gold.