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Gold Heist at JKIA: Two tons of gold worth Sh15.1b goes missing

Kenya is on the spot after two tons of gold worth Sh15.1 billion went missing from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Nairobi News has established that the gold was destined for the Dominican Republic.

In this file picture, passengers wait at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s (JKIA) Terminal 1-C for international departure. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

Also read: Kenyan passenger used oxygen cylinder on ‘sick’ infant to smuggle Sh54 million gold to India

Preliminary investigations indicate that airport clearing agents, top security, and customs officers at JKIA were involved in the theft.

Even personal assistants to senior political leaders in Kenya and some senior security personnel in JKIA have been linked to the heist.

The gold’s owner, who was waiting for it in the Dominican Republic, raised the matter, prompting police officers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya to launch investigations.

The gold is no longer in Kenya as it had already been taken out of the country through a deal that has exposed the country’s biggest airport.

According to the investigation report, “The gold haul is said to have been executed with the help of very senior security apparatus and some diplomatic channels as well as experienced aviation and cargo agents.”

Also read: Three Kenyan women arrested at Mumbai Airport for smuggling Sh22m gold

The report also notes that they were waiting for clearance to travel to the gold’s destination.

The sellers of the gold had issues with those who planned to purchase it, leading to a rift between them. When the buyers differed with the sellers, the latter sought the help of senior political leaders who held several meetings in Karen and top hotels.

A senior detective who spoke to Nairobi News said they focused on a senior political leader in the theft.

“Our focus is now on where the gold was taken to after it left JKIA and who are the people involved,” said the sleuth.

The heist has brought to light the security lapses at JKIA and raised serious concerns about corruption and impunity in the country.

The authorities must ensure that those involved in the theft are brought to book and that such incidents never happen again.

Also read: Court hands Sh16 billion gold scam suspects temporary freedom