How a Sanctioned Russian Company Gained Access to Sudan’s Gold


Commercial Registry documents seen by Bloomberg provide the first evidence that the compound is owned by Meroe Gold, a company the U.S. Treasury says has ties to the Wagner Group, which it describes as a mercenary company connected to the Russian Ministry of Defense. In addition to access to lucrative mineral deposits, Meroe has licenses to operate in Sudanese industries ranging from transport and agriculture to plastics, the documents show.

The permits obtained by Meroe illustrate the links that the U.S. Treasury describes as “an interplay between Russia’s paramilitary operations, support for preserving authoritarian regimes and exploitation of natural resources.” Meroe, one of dozens of operators in the gold industry, has been investing in Sudan since 2017 — the same year the Treasury says Wagner developed plans for then-dictator Omar al-Bashir to suppress pro-democracy protests.