Billions of dollars of gold is smuggled out of Africa every year, with the vast majority exported to the United Arab Emirates for processing, according to a report by SwissAid.

Using data on declared and undeclared gold imports over a 10-year period ending in 2022, the Bern-based nongovernmental organization estimates that the illicit trade amounts to between $23.7 billion and $35 billion annually, based on current market prices.

More than 435 tons of bullion was smuggled out of Africa in 2022 alone, it said.