NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining has urged Kenyans, foreigners and other interested parties to always verify those claiming to be mineral dealers and miners.
In a statement, Cabinet Secretary John Munyes stated that before going into any deal, they should confirm the authenticity of the dealers from the ministry which keeps a log.
“The attention of the ministry has been drawn to recent incidences highlighted in the local and social media where innocent people are alleged to have lost huge sums of money to unscrupulous gold traders/dealers engaged in illicit mineral trade,” he stated.
He pointed out that the Ministry has a laboratory where the authenticity of minerals can be carried out in the presence of the client and a certificate issued afterwards.
“In an endeavour to authenticate the minerals, the ministry has a laboratory at Madini house, Industrial Area along Machakos road where minerals, mineral samples or consignments for export are received and tested for composition in the presence of the client,” he said.
He explained that in the case of precious metals especially gold and gemstones, export permits are only issued by the ministry after a mineral consignment has been seen by a panel of officers.
“All mineral exports are authorized by the Ministry through export permits detailing the exporter (Licensed dealer or miner), value, weight, source (where mined or bought), composition of the mineral and country and address of destination.”
Jared Otieno, the main fugitive in the fake gold scandal was arrested on Thursday during a dawn security operation.
DCI boss George Kinoti stated that detectives also seized two of his brand-new vehicles – a Porsche and Bentley – that were parked at his palatial home in Nairobi’s Karen.
Several other suspects – including Zaheer Jhanda- whom police describe as a person of interest in the investigation are being sought.
Kinoti said the investigation was launched following numerous complaints from those conned – including United Arab Emirates leader Sheikh Al Maktoum.
18 suspects were arraigned in court on Tuesday, with police now allowed a week to conclude investigations against them before they can face formal charges.