Thursday, May 12, 2011

Three Gold Smugglers From DRC Charged In Kenyan Court

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is notorious for gold smuggling: a recent estimate says about 80% of all gold produced in the DRC is smuggled out. Recently, the DRC and Kenyan governments have been co-operating in an effort to rein in gold smugglers. That effort has now borne fruit, as three men on the DRC government's most-wanted list have been arrested in Kenya and charged with fraud for allegedly smuggling 400 kg of gold.
A Congolese diplomat in Nairobi, Bob Katamba, told the BBC that one of the suspects who appeared in court on Thursday, Jean-Claude Mudeke Kabamba, was believed to the ring leader of the trade.

He said it was alleged he went by the alias "General Kabamba" and was believed to be gun-running for the Mai Mai rebel group in eastern DR Congo in exchange for gold.

Kenyan police say a computer with valuable information about the clandestine trade was also seized this week.
The specific charge on the three is conspiracy to defraud a gold buyer by posing as legal gold dealers.

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