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Govt applies for non-conviction forfeiture of jet used in gold scam scandal


The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, has applied to the Economic and Financial Crimes Court, for a non-conviction –based forfeiture order, to have the Jet used in the gold scam scandal forfeited to the State.

According to documents filed in Court, High Court division, investigations revealed that the Egyptians attempted to smuggle the 602 pieces of brass pellets (a combination of Copper and Zinc metals, weighing 127.28 kilograms purported to have been valued at about US$7,636,800 from Zambia to Egypt.

Read more: Alleged $1 million Gold Scam: Kasanda, others plead not guilty to duping business partners

In an affidavit in support of notice of motion, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) assistant commissioner, Martin Chitamba, T7-WSS Global Express (GLEX) Jet, which was detained at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on August 13, 2023, carried four crew members and five Egyptians.

Chitamba said when the joint investigation team along with personnel from Bank of Zambia and the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development inspected the bags and luggage cases which were seized from the Jet, they contained US$5,697,700.00, 602 pieces of suspected gold, five pistols with 126 rounds of ammunition and 11 pistol magazines, a drilling machine and a Central Processing Unit (CPU).

He said a review of the documents provided by National Airports Corporation, operations officer, Subeta Chisambo, indicated that the formalities for the ground handling services were initially initiated by IBIS Air, but were actualised by MixJet.

“That the Airspace application form completed by IBIS Air showed that they had falsely declared that the aircraft was not carrying any cargo, when in fact there was money, firearms and rounds of ammunition on the said aircraft,” he said.

Chitamba further stated, “that the flight plan indicated that the aircraft would depart Cairo for Lusaka on August 13, 2023, with five passengers on board and three crew members, and return the same day after a business meeting, contrary to assertions that the aircraft was en route to south Africa”.

He contended that the offences in Section 71 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crimes Act no.19 of 2010 and Sections 149 and 155 of the customs andexercise Act chapter 322 of the laws of Zambia were serious offences.

The DPP believed the aircraft was tainted property and liable for forfeiture to the State, to which the interested parties are not in opposition.

In August, the DPP dropped espionage charges against the five Eyptians along with Oswald Diangamo by way of nolle prosequi.

Those that remain in custody include business man Shadreck Kasanda, Patrick Kawanu Jnr(Pilot), Jim Belemu(Mahogany Air Chief Executive Officer), Robson Moonga, and Francis Mateyo awaiting trial at the High Court on the same charge of espionage.

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