An Anatomy of Grand Fraud: The Goldenberg Scandal and the IMF/World Bank

Roman Grynberg, Fwasa Singogo


This article considers the largest documented ‘gold’ fraud on the African continent to this day[1]. The scheme involved, Goldenberg International Limited that would ‘export gold and diamonds fictitiously’ in exchange for substantial subsidies from the government for ‘earning’ foreign exchange. This constitutes an important case study of the interaction between the creation of a partially liberalized trade and exchange rate policy environment in Kenya and the deeply embedded culture of corruption in the country that was the cause in effect of the GIL scandal.

Keywords: Goldenberg, Gold, Fraud, Africa

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/10-2-02

Publication date: February 29th 2020

[1] This paper is dedicated to the memory of the late David Sadera Munyakei who, while working as a clerk for the Central Bank of Kenya, provided information to opposition members of the Kenyan parliament in 1993 on the ‘exports’ of gold by Goldenberg. For his trouble Mr Munyakei was, fired from the Central Bank of Kenya, imprisoned and spent the rest of his life in relative poverty in Mombasa. This is a reminder, if more were ever needed, of the high price that honest men and women pay for telling the truth. He died in 2006.

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