Kenya returns Ksh.100M gold to Magufuli in Tanzania
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Wednesday received gold valued at Ksh. 100million that was intercepted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had sent a delegation led by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma to hand over the 35 kilograms of gold reported to have been seized from a Tanzanian national.
“This will not only promote the war against illegal trade between the two countries but also sends a strong message of cooperation in the fight against crime,” President Magufuli said.
During the ceremony, Magufuli received a phone call from President Uhuru Kenyatta and put him on loudspeaker.
The Tanzanian leader joked about the goods having arrived as he lauded him for his good leadership.
President Kenyatta responded warning that those dealing in illegal trade would not be tolerated and will have nowhere to hide.
The two leaders agreed to intensify the fight against illicit gold trade in the region.
President Magufuli also noted the intensified fight against corruption in Kenya saying that if they were ‘bad leaders’, the gold would never have been returned.
During the handover, senior officials from both countries verified the gold which was also weighed.
Attorney General (AG) Paul Kihara, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI)George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji were also present.
On February 21 last year, a Tanzanian was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi with the smuggled gold.
According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the 46-year-old man had arrived from Mwanza via Kilimanjaro and was heading to Dubai.
KRA customs officials at the airport also seized an invoice of $859,890 (approx. Ksh.87 million) during the arrest.
The gold bars were then handed to the KRA Customs and Border Control unit.