WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), along with Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) and Congresswoman Maria Salazar (FL-27), introduced legislation to combat terrorist organizations and rogue regimes by disrupting illicit gold mining and trafficking of precious metals that frequently fund these groups.
“Illicit gold mining, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, is both widespread and rampant and helps terrorist organizations and cartels launder billions of dollars of criminal proceeds across the globe,” said Rep. Fitzgerald. “This exchange is harder to track because gold is not subject to the same Treasury Department scrutiny as other forms of currency. This bill closes a loophole that has been exploited to the detriment of our national security by including precious metals as a primary money laundering concern.”
“To defeat terrorist groups, we have to target them from all directions, and that must include their funding,” said Rep. Issa. “Illicit gold mining and illegal mineral trafficking are increasingly giving organizations and cartels unprecedented financial capability, and this legislation is vital to crippling their revenue streams and ultimately shutting them down.”
“Illegal gold mining has become a scourge throughout Latin America, funding armed criminal groups in Colombia and Peru, propping up dictatorial regimes in Venezuela, and leaving environmental devastation in its wake,” said Rep. Salazar. “It’s time for the United States to combat this problem and treat it with the seriousness it does other international criminal activities.”
The full text of the bill can be found HERE.