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Army, mineral police deploy at Africa Gold Refinery

 

Museveni and The Minister of Energy and Mineral resources Irene Muloni at the launch of the Africa Gold Refinery last year. 

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There has been an increased deployment of soldiers and Police officers at the Africa Gold Refinery (AGR) in Entebbe.

The deployment that started on Wednesday evening as a result of a long standoff between the operators of the refinery on the acquisition of the different gold

A source at the Police Mineral Department in Entebbe told Uganda Radio Network on Saturday that the deployment was made after complaints from one of the shareholders. Former Minister Henry Muganwa Kajura is reportedly one of the owners of the Gold refinery. Africa Gold Refinery is the pioneer gold refinery in the country.

Africa Gold Refinery entered an agreement with government to import and refine gold on Manufacture Under Bond (MUB) as per the laws of Uganda and the East African Community Customs protocol.

Manufacture Under Bond is one of the investment packages that government has been issuing to selected investors.  It among other things provides generous capital allowance for medium- and long-term investors in priority areas whose projects involve significant investment in plant machinery and other costs.

Africa Gold Refinery has reportedly enjoyed VAT deferments, deductions, exemptions and capital depreciation allowances since it was launched by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in February last year.

A source at the Gold company told Uganda Radio Network that several UPDF officers entered their office premises on Tuesday and ordered all people not to leave until they have searched the office.

“We spent several hours without leaving the office premises as security operatives kept searching,” said the source. The company is allegedly accused of conspiring to steal more than 170 kilograms of Gold.

A report by UN experts on Gold in January this year pinned Africa Gold Refinery on illegal Gold deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In October 2018, Alain Goetz, the proprietor of Africa Gold Refinery told Uganda Radio Network the company is unhappy with the recent decision by government to license two new gold refineries. The latest players are Sameer Binji from Kenya and Simba Gold Refinery.

Goetz is now up in arms against Uganda Revenue Authority and the Directorate of Geological surveys and mines claiming there are two companies operated by Indians and Kenyans that have been awarded licenses to export non-refined gold from Uganda.

Africa Gold Refinery had last year promised to have an initial output capacity of 300 kilograms of pure gold per week. It had promised to increase production to 500 kilograms.

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