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Two Tanzanians netted in fake gold scam in Kenya

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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 16 (Infosplusgabon) - Two Tanzanian nationals are among several suspects arrested in neighbouring Kenya in a crackdown on a syndicate of fake gold dealers who have conned victims of millions of dollars.

Masson Choga Mtassi and Konie Kalist were arrested in April in Nairobi, alongside four Kenyans, a Congolese and a Nigerian as authorities launched a manhunt for fake gold swindlers, according to local media reports in Tanzania.

The latest burst on the syndicate on Monday netted suspects who caused a near diplomatic tiff between Kenya and the United Arab Emirates, after swindling 5.5 billion Tanzania shillings (about $2.4 million) from a man close to the UAE royal family.

The media in Kenya reported on Wednesday that President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an operation on the gold scammers after the ruler of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, complained to him that his gold had been seized at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.

According to the reports, Sheikh Maktoums business associate Ali Zandi, who runs a gold trading company in Dubai, reported that their gold consignment from DR Congo had been detained at JKIA.

Each time he spoke to President Kenyatta he raised the gold issue, and when the President checked there was nothing like that. He was very pissed off and asked security agencies to find those involved in conning Sheikh, the Star newspaper quoted a State House source familiar with the events as saying.

The conning of Sheikhs associate is said to involve high ranking individuals, including a senior politician and senator in the Kenyan Parliament. Some suspects in this case have been arrested and charged in court.

However, the Tanzanians Mtassi and Kalist - were involved in a different case involving 100 kilogrammes of fake gold nuggets.

The Tanzanians were also accused alongside the other six suspects of being in possession of millions of fake US dollars and Zambian Kwachas when they were arrested.

FIN/INFOSPLUSGABON/KJH/GABON2019

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