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Electronic currency might reduce ASM robberies

Electronic currency might reduce ASM robberies

Edmond Mkaratigwa

The introduction of an electronic US$ receipt for small scale and artisanal miners who deliver their gold to the country’s sole gold buyer and exporter Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) might be the remedy to reduce the influx of robberies in the sector, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chair on Mines and Mining Development Hon Edmond Mkaratigwa implored.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Cases of armed robberies targeting large sums of money particularly for people in the small scale and artisanal gold mining sector have become a cause for concern with hundreds of millions already lost this year according to statistics.

According to Mkaratigwa, miners have become vulnerable to robbers because in most cases details of their movements and gold deliveries are known therefore there was a need for Fidelity to revise the way they remunerate miners to curb possible robberies of the miners.

“It is coming to our attention that there serious security risk in terms of the movement of cash from Fidelity to the miners, more so because it is actually becoming evident that one way or the other the criminals would know that this particular miner has received some cash payment so to actually mitigate or eradicate this challenge totally there is need revise the way we remunerate our miners.

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“My proposal is that we introduce electronic bank for miners, what it means is that Fidelity will give an electronic receipt to the miner as an acknowledgement that they have collected his/her gold wealth so much in hard currency US$ to be specific, and that miner at his time be known only to him/herself can visit a bank of his choice and be able to encash the electronic receipt and convert it into US$ and that way it will reduce the chances of any criminals being aware that he got some cash,” Mkaratigwa said.

The increase in armed robberies on miners confirms that there are many guns in the country that are in the wrong hands therefore measures need to be taken to address the risk of miners falling prey.

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