Dar es Salaam. Two Tanzanians are among several suspects arrested in Kenya in a crackdown on a syndicate of fake gold dealers who have conned victims of billions of shillings.
The Tanzanians were arrested last month in Nairobi alongside four Kenyans, a Congolese and a Nigerian as authorities intensified the hunt for fake gold swindlers.
The latest burst on the syndicate, on Monday, netted suspects who caused a near diplomatic tiff between Kenya and the United Arab Emirates, after swindling Sh5.5 billion from a man close to the UAE’s royal family.
The Media in Kenya reported yesterday that President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an operation on the gold scammers after the ruler of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, complained to him that his gold had been seized at the main airport in Nairobi (JKIA).
Sheikh Maktoum’s business associate Ali Zandi who runs a gold trading company in Dubai reported that their gold consignment from DR Congo had been detained at JKIA.
“Each time he spoke to President Kenyatta he raised the gold issue and when the President checked there was nothing like that. He was very pissed off and ordered security agencies to find those involved in conning Sheikh,” the Star newspaper quoted a State House source familiar with the events as saying.
The conning of the Sheikh’s associate is said to involve high ranking individuals, including a senior politician and senator in the Kenyan Parliament. Some suspects in this case have been arrested and charged in court.
However, the Tanzanians – Manson Chogga Mtassi and Konie Kalist were implicated in a different case involving 100 kilogrammes of fake gold nuggets. The Tanzanians were also accused alongside the other six suspects of being in possession of millions of fake US Dollars and Zambian Kwachas when they were arrested.
Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro yesterday told Mwananchi on phone that he had not received any news on the arrest of the said Tanzanians.
Kenya’s Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti yesterday urged Embassies to advise their nationals coming in for business to be warry of the syndicate.
“The Gold Scam has now reached alarming levels as unsuspecting foreign nationals are being swindled large amounts of money by fraudsters,” he said in a twitter post.
Kinoti said Kenyans and foreign nationals must ensure that they conduct proper due diligence on the person(s) they intend to engage in the gold buying business.