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News Extra: ‘Not gold but copper, zinc,’ Mines Minister, Kabuswe, sings a new song on seized private jets


Government has clarified that the suspected gold that had been seized by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) was actually copper, zinc and other minerals.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Paul Kabuswe, said a team from the Geological Department in his Ministry was assigned to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Monday to ascertain if the minerals seized were actually gold.

Read more: Drug Enforcement Commission confirms seizure of $5 million, gold, guns, ammunition at KKIA

Kabuswe said this when he addressed the media on Tuesday in Lusaka to update the nation on the seized minerals by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).

He said that after a laboratory analysis by the Geological Department, it was established that the seized minerals from KKIA were not gold but copper, nickel, tin and zinc.

“After a comprehensive analysis, it was discovered that the alleged gold bars contained copper in the range of 58 to 61 percent and zinc in the range of 38 to 41 percent,trace amounts of tin and nickel,” Kabuswe said.

Earlier on Tuesday, DEC announced that it had seized two private jets laden with millions of United States Dollars, gold and ammunitions at KKIA.

DEC Director General, Nason Banda, said over US$5million, five pistols, seven magazines, 126 round of ammunition, 602 pieces of suspected gold weighing 127.2 kilogrammes and equipment used for measuring gold have been seized.

Banda said the Bank of Zambia had taken into safe custody over US$5million while the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development had also taken into custody the sized gold for verification.

He said the Commission had detained 10 persons, which included six Egyptians, Spanish, Dutch, Navishani and a Zambian national.

Banda added that the number of suspects was likely to increase.

“The Drug Enforcement Commission received information that a chartered aircraft carrying dangerous goods had landed at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on August 13, 2023 at 19:00 hours,” Banda said.

He said acting on this information the DEC together with officers from various law enforcement agencies conducted an operation on Monday, August 14, 2023 at KKI Airport.

“The operation resulted in a seizure of the following items: US$5, 697,700, five pistols, seven magazines,126 rounds ammunition ,602 pieces of suspected gold weighing 127.2 kg and equipment used for measuring gold,” Banda said.

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