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2 Congolese nabbed in fake gold cartel

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Police have arrested two other Congolese \’gold dealers\’ who allegedly defrauded a businessman claiming they would sell him 400 kilograms of gold valued at over Sh100 million.

The suspects were arrested in Nairobi\’s Muthaiga area on Thursday night following a complaint lodged by the businessman.

"The two Congolese men were arrested for conning another businessman that they would sell him 400 kilograms of gold," Nairobi Provincial Police Officer (PPO) Antony Kibuchi said.

He said the suspects had already received Sh1.3 million from the businessman.

"These men will be arraigned in court once the investigation is completed. We are urging Kenyans to avoid falling prey to gold deals which don\’t even exist, people are losing a lot of money in these deals."

And following the increased cases of businessmen falling prey to dubious gold dealers, police on Friday warned Kenyans to avoid entering into such suspicious transactions and report the conmen to the police.

"It is a major concern we have and we urge Kenyans to be careful when it comes to such deals, most of these gold deals are dubious and they involve a lot of money. People must be careful," the PPO said.

Police have not linked Thursday night’s arrest of the two Congolese nationals with the mysterious disappearance of the 2.5 tonnes gold bullion that went missing from a warehouse in Nairobi early this year.

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The arrest came two days after three other Congolese nationals were arrested and charged in court for conspiring to defraud a trader in the pretext that they were in a position to sell him 400 Kilogrammes of gold nuggets valued at over Sh115 million.

The three suspects, Jean Claude Kababa Mundeke alias General, Ruphin Kazadi Elumba and Jean Claude Kanza Dyansangu are accused of committing the offense on diverse dates between July 1 last year and February 14, 2011 in Nairobi.

A charge sheet read to them on Thursday stated that they jointly conspired to defraud Ulrich Annas Ngoyi Bongo jointly with others not before court by pretending they were undertaking genuine business as jewellers.

The trio are said to have claimed they were in a position to supply the gold upon remission of the amount which is equivalent to $1,378,714, a fact they knew was false.

They were also accused of fraudulently obtaining the money from the complainant.

The three, however, denied committing the offenses before Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Macharia and were remanded in custody until Tuesday next week.

The prosecution informed the court that police had recovered computers and other documentation that needed to be analysed in the presence of the accused persons.

Defence lawyers Cliff Ombetta and Stanley Kangai representing the accused persons did not object to the application.

The suspects were arrested on Tuesday night, two months after an investigation into a 2.5 tonnes gold smuggling syndicate was launched after DRC President Joseph Kabila formally complained to President Mwai Kibaki.

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Detectives have been investigating reports that the smuggled gold had disappeared from a warehouse in Nairobi soon after arrival from the DRC.

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