Foreign nationals involved in gold scandal uncooperative, delaying court processes —DEC


A Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) senior investigations officer has accused the foreign nationals allegedly involved in the gold scandal of being uncooperative, thus delaying court process.

Ian Chimbwali in affidavit, in opposition to application by four foreign suspects for issue of writ of habeas corpus before the Lusaka High Court, said the 13 suspects were scheduled to appear in court on August 18, 2023.

Read more: Breaking: Drug Enforcement Commission arrests five Egyptians, six Zambians for alleged espionage

However, Chimbwali said four of the applicants had been warned and cautioned, on the morning of August 18, but they refused to be charged and arrested.

The four are Ali Abdulla Ali Al-Safi of St Kitts and Nevis origin, Noha Salaheldin Aly Nadim, an Eyptian, Spaniard David De La Cruz Castilla and Teunis De Mooij , a Dutch national, cited as first to fourth applicants respectively.

“That, however, the first applicant suspiciously fell ill and medical treatment was sought at Sikanze Police hospital making it impossible to proceed with the charge,” he said.

The deponent said the first applicant, Al-Safi was only issued with a medical report on August 22, 2023.

Chimbwali admitted that unlike the foreign suspects, the four Zambians accused in the matter had been cooperative with the law enforcers.

He said the suspects could not be brought before court last week because of the National inaugural prosecutors’ conference which was held in Livingstone and there was, in fact, a notice from the Chief Justice to allow for adjournments.

“That the applicants have generally been uncooperative as regards the procedures of being charged,” he contended.

“Our foreign nationals detained in connection with the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport gold scam have submitted that they were hired as pilots in-flight service attendants by Flying Group Middle East, FZCO,” he added.

FZCO is the company that runs the Bambardier Global XRS, serial No SN9159 and registration No. T7-WSS, a private jet that was seized by DEC carrying about US$5 million cash, weapons and some suspected gold.

They argued that their continued detention was an infringement on their basic human rights which include a fair trial.

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