Gold dealer Shadreck Kasanda, 4 others to appear in court today
LUSAKA businessman Shadrek Kasanda and four of his co-accused involved in a gold scandal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport are today expected to appear before the Lusaka High Court to answer to a charge of espionage.
Kasanda is jointly charged with pilot Patrick Kawanu, State security officer Francis Makai Mateyo, KKIA police commanding officer Robson Moonga and Mahogany Air proprietor Dr Jim Belemu.
The quintet was initially co-charged with five five Egyptian Nationals, Walid Fahmi Botros, Mounir Gerges Awad, Colonel Mohamed Gouda, Yasser Mokhtar Abdelghafor and Micheal Adel Michel Botros all Egyptians and ZamQlik solutions limited managing director and accountant Oswald Diangamo who were freed of espionage by the State in September this year through a nolle prosequi.
The Egyptians were on August 14, 2023 arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in connection with a foiled gold scam deal involving US$5.7 million.
The suspects arrived at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport aboard a private jet for a shady business deal which was frustrated when the DEC intercepted the jet which was laden with 602 ‘fake’ gold bars weighing 127.2 Kg.
Other items seized on the Global Express T7-WW aircraft are seven magazines, 126 rounds of ammunition five firearms and travel permits belonging to the foreign nationals.
The DEC in a joint operation with other law enforcement agencies, conducted an operation at the airport after an alarm was raised that a plane had touched down at the airfield to smuggle out minerals.
Kasanda and his co-accused were later arrested on August 16 in relation to the shady business deal.
The quintet who was denied bail by Lusaka Chief resident magistrate Davies Chibwili after Director of Public Prosecution Gilbert filed a certificate of no bail to prevent the State from being prejudiced, is expected to appear judges Charles Zulu, Ruth Chibbabbuka and Situmbeko Chocho for plea.
By Mwaka Ndawa