DPP wants gold scam probe expedited after ‘Wetangula’ audio went viral

May 18, 2019 9:42 pm
Wetangula seen here on a file photo.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18- The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has directed police to expedite investigations on the fake gold scandal implicating dubious businessmen and influential government and political leaders after leaked audio surfaced.

In the audio widely shared on social media, a voice many believe is for Senator Moses Wetangula can be heard on in heated telephone conversation with a ‘client’ presumably from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), demanding to know the status of what is believed to be a gold deal.

Wetangula has not publicly commented on the scandal.

It is the damning contents of the leaked audio that triggered the swift action from the DPP, particularly the big names mentioned, after reports indicated that a senior member of the royal family in Dubai was swindled of hundreds of millions of dollars with no gold delivered as promised in the shady deal that is turning out to be one of the biggest in recent times.

“My attention has been drawn to an audio clip making the rounds on social media, in which an apparent telephone conversation between two speakers, allegations are made suggesting that certain information had been conveyed or relayed to HE the President (Uhuru Kenyatta), former Prime Minister (Raila Odinga) and CS (Fred) Matiangi,” Haji said in the statement, “and that a discussion had been held between the eminent personalities.”

Haji said he had written to the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, directing him to ensure the investigation is conducted expeditiously due to the immense public interest the matter has generated.

“The objective of any criminal investigation is to bring culprits to account,” Haji said in statement sent by his office to newsrooms late Saturday, “I have directed the IG to expedite the ongoing investigations into the gold scams and forward the resultant investigation file to me within 7 days from which the appropriate action will be taken.”

The DPP said he had “personally received a complaint and representation from victims of the scam claiming that the personality has been dealing with them for some time now and invoking the President’s name in the dealing and conversations.”

“Having realized that they were conned of the availability of gold and the misleading knowledge and involvement of the president, former prime minister and CS Matiangi, they resolved to make a report to the Kenyan authorities and cooperate with law enforcement in unearthing the under-dealings,” Haji revealed. On Saturday, DP William Ruto and a section of Jubilee leaders warned against dragging Kenyatta’s name in the scam, even as others called for a thorough investigation on the former Prime Minister and the security CS implicated.

Under the Kenyan Constitution, the DPP can direct the IG to open or expedite an investigation carried out by the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

“We are already undertaking the investigation and have already taken some suspects to court, we are looking for more and I can assure you no one will be spared,” DCI Kinoti told Capital FM News when asked about the progress made so far.

This week, Kinoti announced the arrest of flamboyant ‘businessman’ Jared Otieno, whose palatial home in the leafy suburb was raided and two cars—a Bentley and Porsche seized.

Gold scam suspect Jared Otieno’s home. Photo/COURTESY.

Kinoti has indicated that they are also seeking to arrest and question Zaheer Jhanda—described as an influential ‘businessman’ whose photos were widely shared on social media in the wake of the gold scandal, in which he is seen hobnobbing with the who is who in the country—including President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, Odinga, Interior CS Matiangi, CS Mucheru among others.

Jhanda has denied any involvement in the gold trade in the country or elsewhere, saying ‘I don’t even know what is genuine or fake gold.”

The DPP has now warned against further circulation or dissemination of the audio clip, saying, “Until all facts are obtained and analysed, it is irresponsible and possibly unlawful to publish such material to the public.”

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