Home » Zimbabwean tobacco tycoon Simon Rudland to sue Al-Jazeera over Gold smuggling allegations

Zimbabwean tobacco tycoon Simon Rudland to sue Al-Jazeera over Gold smuggling allegations

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Simon Rudland

Zimbabwean tobacco tycoon Simon Rudland, who was named as the largest funder of gold smuggling activities in Zimbabwe in a widely-acclaimed Al Jazeera investigation titled “Gold Mafia,” has demanded an apology and indicated he will sue the network.

Rudland was mentioned in the opening episode of the bombshell Al Jazeera documentary by self-confessed gold smuggler Ewan Macmillan as the major financier of the gold smuggling syndicate using a personal fortune amassed through his cigarette businesses in his native Zimbabwe and South Africa.

According to the documentary, Rudland, one of Zimbabwe’s richest men, launders money through both Zimbabwean and South African companies.

Rudland is the owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco, one of the most popular cigarette brands in southern Africa, particularly on the black market.

Rudland allegedly funds the Zimbabwe government, according to MacMillan, a self-confessed gold smuggler exposed in the documentary.

Macmillan boasted that he was the most powerful gold smuggler in Zimbabwe, alongside Kamlesh Pattni, who was involved in a gold smuggling scheme in Kenya before moving his operation to Zimbabwe.

Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) also implicated Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Special Envoy Uebert Angel and his niece Henrietta Rushwaya in the undercover operation.

Mnangagwa’s son and wife Auxillia were also recorded during the Al Jazeera investigation, according to Angel.

While Al Jazeera exposed Rudland’s use of Zimbabwean and South African companies to launder money, the extremely wealthy businessman with interests in logistics, agriculture, and finance has denied the allegations.

“I deny all allegations made against me relating to gold smuggling, money laundering, or collusion with any government,” he declared in his statement.

“The allegations are false and are made without any proof and the documentary is extremely sensational, this propaganda is injurious to my good name…I urge Al Jazeera to retract their statements and issue a public apology. Notwithstanding this, I will in any event be instituting legal action against the media house for severe reputational harm caused,” Rudland said.

Rudland is a popular Zimbwean tycoon with interests in tobacco, logistics, financial services and agriculture.

He is the owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation, a multinational manufacturer and distributor of the Rudland & George RG cigarette brand.

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