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Economy

DCI says to grill Wetang’ula over Saudi gold scam

George Kinoti
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula is among those to be questioned over a gold scam that saw a Saudi royal conned out of millions of shillings as detectives yesterday grilled flamboyant businessman Jared Otieno over the fake minerals scandal.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti Thursevening said Mr Wetangula, who has been identified as a key person of interest, has been lined up for a date with detectives.

“He is a person of interest and we shall be interrogating him and all others mentioned to determine their degree of involvement,” said Mr Kinoti.

Detectives will be seeking to know what he was doing in Dubai in September last year. There are allegations that he had been used by the scammers to shore up confidence among the persons targeted with the fake gold.

The senator has previously said he lost money in the deal. A tweet from his account on September 4 last year proves that he was indeed in Dubai.

“Have had a full day of meetings in Dubai focusing on how to improve trade ties between Kenya and the UAE,” he said at that time.

Also set for questioning are politician Zaheer Jhanda, businessman Don Bosco Gichana, Chris Obure and Mr Richard Kubo who operates a logistics company at the Wilson Airport.

Mr Otieno presented himself to the police yesterday morning as the detective sought his knowledge of the fake gold scams that have rocked Kenya.

The detectives also towed away Mr Otieno’s two luxurious cars, a Porsche and Bentley, which were parked at a palatial home in Karen which he was in the process of fullly acquiring.

Two years ago, Mr Otieno had been arrested by police for obtaining money by pretending to be in a position to export gold from Kenya to foreign countries.

In what is emerging to be an inter-nation investigation, Mr Kinoti said he is also pursuing other “actors” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dubai and Russia. “We shall go for those within Kenya and those without – and they will be recording statements with us.”

At least 40 suspected gold scammers have been arrested so far especially around the Kilimani area of Nairobi since the start of the crackdown.

This is after the UAE protested after one of its nationals who is linked to the royal family was conned. Mr Zaheer Jhanda, the alleged mastermind of the con in which Mr Ali Zandi could have lost up to Sh400 million is still at large.

It is said that Mr Jhanda shortchanged his accomplices immediately the money landed in his account.

This is believed to be among the reasons a video showing rows of boxes containing what is thought to be gold pallets being presented to Mr Zandi has been leaked on the Internet.

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