Three Congolese grilled in suspected fake gold trade in Kakuma

Some of the fake gold that was nabbed by DCI in a previous operation. [File, Standard]

Police in Kakuma, Turkana County are probing three Congolese nationals over suspected fake gold trade.

Turkana West sub-county police commander Richard Moracha said the three were arrested at the Kakuma camp where they are registered as refugees.

Moracha said police have forwarded the samples that were seized to the Government Chemist for analysis as they continue with investigations.

The three among them two brothers identified as Aziza Salah and Pascal Salah were found in possession of the suspected fake gemstone.

The police said one of the brothers had just arrived from Congo with the suspected gold.

Moracha said although the trio was released on police bail after questioning, the suspected fake gold is still being held for expert analysis and verification. Their fate would be determined after the said analysis.

The refugees however denied any wrong doing saying they were selling authentic gold, and were arrested after they declined to give out a bribe.

“After price negotiation at the Kakuma 3 reception centre, two other members arrived with equipment for verification of the quantity and to check if the gold was genuine,” the refugees said in a statement.

They further alleged that while at Kakuma police station, they were asked to part with money to secure their release.

But police dismissed the allegations and said investigations were ongoing to determine whether the foreigners were dealing with fake or genuine gold.

Mr Moracha said the trio was busted following a tip-off.

“We will not allow trading in fake gold. The samples have been taken to the government laboratory for analysis, and we are waiting for the results,” the sub-county commander said.

He said if found to be either fake or genuine gold, the suspects are still culpable for committing an offence of engaging in a business without the requisite licence as spelt out in the Kenyan laws.