A protest letter from United Arab Emirates (UAE) royal family wrote a protest letter asking for the release of gold owed to one of them has exposed a fake gold syndicate in Nairobi
This prompted a swift reaction by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations that saw a consignment of fake gold being seized Monday in Nairobi.
Ropped in is Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula who is now under investigation in the Sh400 million gold scandal involving a faceless cartel that swindled the United Arab Emirates royal family.
The Ford Kenya party leader is said to be among six people being probed over the racket that is said to be at the center of the investigation of extortion of millions of shillings ostensibly to secure release of five tonnes of gold alleged to have been seized at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The supposed seizure was allegedly the first tranche of a 23-tonne shipment of gold that was to be brought from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
During Monday’s raid in Kileleshwa, officers carried away large black boxes said to contain the fake gold. Eight cars, including a Subaru, Mercedes Benz and a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which were parked near the house located in Kaputei Gardens, were towed to Kilimani Police Station.
The raid, which was led by a team of senior detectives from the DCI headquarters and Kilimani Divisional Criminal Investigation Office, also saw 15 people arrested. The suspects included three women and 12 men.
Two Russian and Bulgarian nationals are already in police custody in connection with the fraud. Mr Mohammed Akbar Rashi (Russian) and Mr Yulian Pentrov Stankov (Bulgarian) were arrested last Thursday at the Lavington Mall.
Investigations by law enforcement agencies show Wetang’ula flew to Dubai to convince the royal family he would use his connections to have the said consignment released.
A prominent politician and a businessman operating a private jet leasing company based at Wilson Airport are the other suspects implicated in the racket.
Police investigations indicate the plot dates back to September 25, 2018, when the group approached Ali Zandi, a nephew of Sheikh Maktoum, representing Zlivia Company, a gold trading company based in Dubai.
The big-time racketeers are said to have undertaken to deliver 4.6 tonnes of gold from Ndande Tribe in the DRC. According to the investigations, the consignment was to be moved by road via Uganda. And for them to deliver the gold whole, they group reportedly needed financial facilitation.
It is said the fraudsters used well-known gold dealers who included a Russian national to claim there was a huge amount of gold in DRC ready for movement to Dubai.
Two days later, the suspected fraudsters alleged the gold had been detained by customs officials at JKIA. This prompted Massoud Zandi, a representative of the gold trading company, to seek Senator Wetang’ula’s help.
On December 15, 2018, Wetang’ula is believed to have flown to Dubai on Zandi’s invitation for a meeting during which the senator assured them he would intervene to secure the release of the gold.
Zandi however turned down the demands for cash to facilitate the release and instead flew to Kenya on Christmas eve, where he made futile attempts to meet senior Kenyan government officials were unsuccessful.
The plot thickened when Wetang’ula and Zandi’s other Kenyan contacts took him to JKIA where he was shown sealed boxes purported to contain the gold. It has since emerged that that the extortionists include top government officials who facilitate the movements of their victims to the secure section at JKIA, where they have leased space for their fraudulent activities.
In the letter addressed to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Maktoum requests prompt action regarding the shipment of gold under his company’s name Zlivia which was being retained by the Kenyan authorities.
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