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Police raid gold smelting centre in Nairobi and confiscate materials

By Cyrus Ombati | May 21st 2019

A team of detectives probing the fake gold scam on Monday raided a residential area in Riara area, Nairobi where they discovered a gold smelting centre.

They discovered burners, two gas cylinders and metallic plates shaped like slabs.

Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti explained once melted into ingots, the metal with insignificant gold content is then used to lure unsuspecting businessmen.

The place is one of the joints in Nairobi unsuspecting buyers are taken for visitations before they are swindled thinking the gold they are buying is genuine.

The tenant of raided house was identified as Abdul Rashid but was not present during the incident.

He is said to have got wind of the impending raid and escaped before detectives arrived at the house.

Kinoti said they have leads on suspects involved in the fake gold racket some of whom are influential businessmen, lawyers and judicial officers.

He further revealed that the suspects have been enjoying services at government offices and premises.

“We are moving in on them. We are determined to dismantle the racket that has been swindling many unsuspecting buyers of gold,” he said.

A team of detectives is also investigating officials at the Kenya Airports Authority, Mines and Geology Department who are said to be part of the cartel.

At the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the dealers have leased warehouses where they take the buyers to show them “confiscated” gold.

They have special passes that enable them access the highly secured place.

Yesterday, police said they are planning to summon for questioning, several persons of interest who have been mentioned in the ongoing probe.

They include lawyers, politicians, businessmen and some government officials who handled the business.

Some of the dealers have since gone underground as others left the country in fear of being arrested.

This was after it emerged a member of the Dubai royal family had been swindled by fake gold dealers in Kenya.

The dealers had posed as genuine suppliers of the minerals from DRC Congo before they were detailed to fly it to Dubai.

It has since emerged there was no gold and all the dealers were interested in was to swindle the Dubai family.

So far, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has given police up to Friday to investigate the issue and give him a file for action.

“I have personally received a complaint and representation from victims of the scam claiming that the personality has been dealing with them for some time now and invoking the Presidents name in their dealings and conversations,” he said.

He condemned the release and circulation of a recording on the deal, saying, "Such claims and their circulation through social media, specifically through leaked phone recordings in today's age of real-time, borderless publishing, are alarmist and may needlessly cause disaffection

He warned that unless all facts are obtained and analysed, it is irresponsible and possibly unlawful to publish such material.

"Having realised that they were conned on the availability of the gold, and the misleading knowledge and involvement of the President, the former Prime Minister and CS Matiang’i, they resolved to [file] a report (with) Kenyan authorities and cooperate with law enforcement in unearthing the under-dealings.”

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