From Five Star Hotels to Bagging 70 Million: Wetangula’s Fake Gold Game Exposed

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More and More revelations are popping up with regards to the ongoing probe on the Fake Gold Scam that has since put the Kenyan Government and the United Arab Emirates in a collision course.

Shocking revelations have already been made of how a man only identified as Mukiri paraded himself as Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and in the process helped con an unsuspecting Zandi from Dubai.

Detectives have traced the origin of the scheme to September 25, 2018 when a group of businessmen posing as gold dealers reportedly approached Zandi, who represents Zlivia Company—a Dubai-based gold trading firm—and promised they would deliver a five-tonne gold consignment from DR Congo which was to be transported by road via Uganda and upon reaching Kenya, would be shipped to Dubai through JKIA.

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To facilitate movement and avoid unnecessary police checks, the cargo was to bear the United Nations stamps.

In September 27, 2018, Mukiri reportedly used fake social media report claiming the gold had been detained at JKIA, prompting Zandi to seek the help of Senator Moses Wetang’ula to have the consignment released, given his networks as former Foreign Affairs Minister.

On December 15, last year, Wetang’ula flew to Dubai on the invitation of Zandi and while there, assured he would help to have the cargo released, even posting on his Twitter account about negotiating trade deals between Kenya and the UAE.

The senator is said to have invoked the name of Matian’gi and further claimed he wanted Sh200 million before he would act to release the consignment, a figure declined by Zlivia officials.

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Kinoti had last week said they have launched a probe into the matter and that preliminary investigations had indicated Wetang’ula for active involvement in the saga.

Security sources said so meticulous is Mukiri in his mimicking of Matiang’i that he has fashioned himself as the CS, whom he reportedly physically resembles.

As negotiations dragged, Zandi flew to Kenya where he was booked in a five-star hotel in Nairobi. The Sh200 million figure was finally reduced to Sh70 million and paid to the senator at the hotel.

However, on January 21, Zandi was the moved to yet another posh hotel off Waiyaki Way where sensing delay, he demanded to meet the senior official he was told was facilitating release of the cargo. It was at this point that he was driven to a house in Karen where he was to meet the Matiang’i, who turned out to be Mukiri.

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When he arrived, he found the gate manned by heavily armed police officers. And soon after, “Matiang’i” arrived in a convoy, complete with a chase car and outriders. He would then inspect a “guard of honour”.

And to convince Zandi the consignment was ready, he was taken to a room full of boxes containing what in truth was fake gold. He was subsequently convinced that he would be taken to JKIA where a chartered plane would be loaded with the gold consignment and fly direct to Dubai.

Accompanying him was another flashy politician Zaheer Meriahi Jhanda, who posed as Matiang’i’s personal assistant. The Dubai businessman had planned to hire a foreign plane and but on Matiang’i’s (Mukiri) advice, he was convinced to get a local one, as it would attract less attention from government agencies.

It was at that stage that Richard Kubo was introduced and brought a plane chartered by Micasa Company registration number 5Y MSA, hired for Sh62 million.

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“When he (Zandi) boarded the plane, he was led out because the CS Matiang’i had advised him not to accompany the cargo, since it was a security risk. This was despite his protests as he wanted to accompany his gold to Dubai,” said a source from the DCI.

He was then flown out of the country through Kisumu, to Uganda and finally to Dubai to await his consignment. Upon reaching the Dubai, he was told his cargo had again been detained at JKIA.

An infuriated Zandi then called Wetang’ula to protest the turn of events, in a conversation that has now been leaked online and in which the title President Uhuru and the name of former premier Raila Odinga are mentioned. Police are investigating the authenticity of the recording.

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But the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji appeared to exonerate the two, including Matiang’i of any culpability.

And yesterday, Jhanda brought a new twist into the saga, claiming that contrary to reports of Sh400 million scam, he was transporting gold worth Sh30 billion from DRC. In a TV interview, he claimed the consignment is yet to arrive in Kenya, asserting the deal is above board.

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