Four detained in connection with ‘gold’ scam allege ill-treatment, to appear in court Wednesday


Four 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.

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

Read more: French legal firm, Vey Associés, claims Zambia violating human rights in detaining in-transit private aircraft, crew

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.

This is according to an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for leave to issue a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum and an order that the restrained applicant be released filed last Friday in the Lusaka High Court.

The four are on Wednesday set to appear before Judge Ruth Chibbabbuka for hearing of the application for habeas corpus.

In the said affidavit, Aly Nadim and his co-accused stated that they have been in detention at Chelston Police Station since August 14, 2023, when they were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) on allegations of money laundering at KKIA on unfounded ground.

The foreign nationals stated that despite Flying Group Middle East FZCO engaging lawyers, they were denied access and provision of basic needs such as food and water on August 14 and 15.

One of the accused persons, Teunis De Mooij, a hypertensive patient was denied access to his medication throughout the period.

They submitted that on August 16, 2023, accompanied by their lawyers, were transported to the National Command Center located at Sikanze police camp in Lusaka.

The applicants further stated that they were questioned by a joint team of enforcement agencies which included DEC, National Terrorism centre and Zambia police force from 09:00 hours to 23:00 hours.

“That after several hours, warn and caution statements were read out to each of us at approximately 22 hours for the alleged offence of giving false information to a public servant contrary to a purported section 106(a) of the penal code, chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

That we are duly advised by our advocates and verily believe the same to be true and correct that the above cited section is non-existent as it has been repealed and it appears to us that this is part of a larger scheme to infringe on our basic human rights,” they said.

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