15 ARRESTED

Police discover bags of cement passed off as gold

Chinese trader duped into paying Sh300 million for the 'gold'

In Summary

• Had packed bags of cement and sledgehammers into metal boxes and passed it off as gold to Chinese trader who paid Sh300m.

• Syndicate got a CS lookalike, complete with police escort, to convince Chinese trader

Gold bars
Gold bars

Fifteen people were arrested on Monday in connection with a fake gold syndicate at a home in Kileleshwa.

Bags of cement and sledgehammers stuffed in metal boxes and passed off as gold were also seized. 

The cargo was about to be exported to China after a Chinese trader was conned out of Sh300 million and told the metal boxes contained hundreds of kilogrammes of gold.

 

The Chinese, whom the police did not name, was persuaded to pay the sum after members of the gang introduced a fake Cabinet secretary who assured the Chinese businessman that the gold was genuine.

The fake CS was a look-alike of a senior Cabinet secretary known for his no-nonsense approach to public administration.

The conmen held two meetings with the fake CS at the Villa Rosa Kempinski and Karen Blixen.

To clinch the deal and look the part, the fake CS was driven to the meetings in sleek limousines with "armed police officers".

The trader had travelled to Nairobi to buy gold in the black market. The suspects are believed to be part of a notorious gold racket in Nairobi.

The trader got suspicious and involved the police after the conmen failed to fulfil their part of the bargain. 

Pressure was piled on the investigators after the real CS got wind that conmen were using his name and demanded their arrest.

 

The operation was conducted by the Serious Crime Office together with Flying Squad.

Police seized 10 vehicles from the Kileleshwa home. Some had fake registration number plates.

Dozens of metal boxes believed to have been used to pack the ‘gold’ ready for export were found.

Kilimani police chief Fatuma Hadi and Serious Crimes chief Kuria Obadia, who led the operation, did not comment on it.

On Monday evening, police turned their spotlight on a city lawyer said to have been involved in the transactions.

Edited by R.Wamochie