A British court awarded $11m (€10m) in damages and expenses yesterday to a former partner at global accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) who exposed money laundering at a major gold refinery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Amjad Rihan claimed he was pushed out of EY after raising concerns about irregularities at precious metals dealer and refiner Kaloti in 2013, according to a ruling from High Court judge Timothy Kerr.
He ruled that EY had helped cover up results of an audit led by Mr Rihan of Kaloti's business practices, including that it paid billions of dollars in cash for gold without adequately checking its origin and bought gold bars from Morocco coated in silver to avoid export restrictions.
Mr Rihan resigned from EY in 2014 and leaked his findings to the media, sending shockwaves through an industry under increasing pressure to refuse gold used to finance organised crime, conflict and human rights abuses.
Kaloti, the UAE's largest gold refiner in 2013, could not be reached for comment but has previously denied wrongdoing.
EY, one of the world's "Big Four" accounting firms, said it was surprised and disappointed by the ruling.