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Mali seizes $8.5 million of gold hidden in car

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Gold Photo: Getty images

Customs officers in southern Mali have seized gold estimated to be worth seven million euros ($8.5 million) hidden in a car, officials said Monday.

The 143 kilograms (315 pounds) of gold was en route to neighbouring Guinea.

Mali’s borders are porous and seizures of gold are frequent.

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The 88 bars discovered overnight Saturday were “destined to be exported without the knowledge of customs officers, which would have disrupted our economy”, said Amidou Fakourou Bakagha, deputy director-general of the customs service.

The poor and landlocked country in western Africa is the fifth-biggest gold producer on the continent, according to the World Bank.

Its industrial and small-scale mining makes the precious metal the country’s biggest export product, according to the same source.

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