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.The specific charge on the three is conspiracy to defraud a gold buyer by posing as legal gold dealers.
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.
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.