Authorities at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) are on a high alert after a Portuguese national was nabbed smuggling gold through the airport.
According to media reports, the man was allegedly attempting to sneak 100kg of gold worth Ksh620 million.
The gold had allegedly been brought in from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and was destined for Budapest. However, when attempts to ship the gold to Budapest were thwarted, the consignment was moved to Uganda.
A file image of the DCI heaquarters along Kiambu roadFacebook A senior Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officer who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, revealed that foreigner opened a company in the country purporting to be dealing in, among other things, gold business. He was assisted by a city lawyer.Further, the officer revealed that they had heightened security at JKIA to ensure that smugglers do not use the country as a transit point for illegal goods. The Portuguese, a former football agent, is said to have close ties with some prominent leaders in Africa who help him in his dealings.
It is alleged that the expensive commodity was smuggled from the minerals-rich Katanga area in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in October 2021 through Burundi, with the help of a powerful Congolese military General, who is a close ally of the foreigner. The entrance of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in August 2019.
Cases of gold smuggling through JKIA have increased over the last few years.
On November 23, 2021, 30 female travellers were intercepted by customs officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
A statement by state officials indicated that 15 of the women were found with approximately 4.88kgs of undeclared gold and jewellery when a body search was conducted. 15 other women, who were on board the flight, were asked to cancel the flight to allow for further investigations.
“The travellers are directly associated to three female travellers earlier intercepted entering Mumbai with approximately 1kg of gold concealed internally on 19th August 2021,” read an excerpt of the statement.
The suspected scammers are believed to evade tax by transporting tax in small amounts concealed as jewellery which is then distributed to a large number of travellers – each carrying a small amount.suspect illegal scam.