Mo Dollars Biography | Profile Of South African Gold Mafia Kingpin & Money Launderer
Early Life and Career
Mohamed Khan, also known as Mo Dollars, is a South African businessman and alleged money launderer who gained notoriety after being exposed in Al Jazeera’s explosive 2023 documentary “Gold Mafia”.
Mo Dollars grew up in poverty and was often mocked by other children. He built his fortune through his involvement in money laundering by bribing influential people in several South African banks to either turn a blind eye or actively work with him. Khan allegedly pays these people off every month, as revealed through bank statements accessed by Al Jazeera.
Khan has helped some of the wealthiest people in Southern Africa legitimize millions of dollars of unaccounted cash through a sophisticated web of front companies, bribes, and fake invoices. According to Al Jazeera’s investigation, he is a central figure in the Gold Mafia investigation into gold smuggling and money laundering operations in Southern Africa. He is known as a shadowy figure who controls money laundering in South Africa.
Mo Dollars is a close associate of Simon Rudland, a Zimbabwean millionaire who owns one of the region’s largest tobacco companies, Gold Leaf Tobacco. Rudland is accused by South African revenue officials of evading taxes by selling his cigarettes on the black market.
Mo Dollars and Rudland have allegedly laundered hundreds of millions of dollars to bank accounts of front companies spread across the world. These companies include Aulion in Dubai, Vantage Leaf in Mauritius, Velmont Valley in Switzerland, and Liberty Gold in the United States. The money is described to South Africa’s central bank as advance payments for goods to be imported.
Khan’s team reportedly goes out at night, looks for poor and homeless people, and offers them up to 10,000 rand ($550) if they accompany Mo Dollars’s employees to a bank and open accounts. Phones given to them are registered with the bank, and then the cell phone is taken away from them, and the pin number is changed on the banking app. This is how Mo Dollars’s team takes control of those bank accounts.
Mohamed Khan loves to show off his newfound wealth. He travels business class, stays in expensive hotels in Dubai, and buys designer clothes for his ex-wife Wardah Latief. However, he also has a much darker side. Audio recordings obtained by Al Jazeera reveal veiled threats against his own brother Dawood if he decided to turn into a witness against Mohamed and his clients. Mohamed Khan denies all allegations against him and denies involvement in money laundering or other criminal activity. PKSA and SALT Asset Management did not respond to requests for comment from Al Jazeera.