On Friday, a total of ten individuals suspected of engaging in fraudulent gold activities, including a police officer, were apprehended as part of an operation conducted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). This operation, which commenced the previous Thursday, successfully prevented a Tunisian national from spending one billion Kenyan shillings on the purchase of a ton of counterfeit gold. Amin Mohammed, the head of the DCI, personally visited the crime scene in the Garden Estate area of Nairobi on Friday morning. Detectives had seized counterfeit gold and fake dollar bills that scammers had been using to deceive unsuspecting businesspeople in an upscale office that had been converted from a residence. This operation resulted in the detention of ten individuals, among them a police officer affiliated with the DCI offices in Kitui. This officer is under suspicion of being involved in protecting the scammers operating in the country. DCI Amin explained, “The operation originated in Tunisia when they claimed to have the capability to sell gold to the victim, who became suspicious and reported the matter to us.” The victim arrived in the country around 3 am the previous Friday. After waiting for nearly an hour without anyone to pick him up, a taxi driver convinced him that he would safely reach his intended destination. He was then taken to the Ngara area of Nairobi and remained isolated until the following Thursday when he was instructed to visit the Garden Estate office. Before gaining access to the gold, he was required to make a payment of 400 million Kenyan shillings, and after confirming the authenticity of a sample through smelting and verification, he was expected to pay the remaining 600 million Kenyan shillings. However, he did not arrive at the meeting alone. Detectives, along with the DCI’s tactical team, raided the office, resulting in the apprehension of ten individuals. Two individuals managed to escape by tearing down a shade net fence that had been erected to increase the height of the perimeter wall for added privacy; one of them is suspected of being armed. DCI Amin stated, “This is a significant cartel that employs the use of influential names to intimidate law enforcement officers and operates with a high level of sophistication.” Furthermore, the DCI boss is now investigating a sitting Senator, two sitting Members of Parliament, and senior officers within the National Police Service (NPS) who made frantic calls in an attempt to secure the release of the suspects. The scammers were also found to be involved in the distribution of counterfeit currency, which was stored in metal boxes within one of the rooms at the location. Amin emphasized, “Numerous victims have suffered substantial financial losses, and they were in the process of making our country, especially the Kilimani area, the epicenter of their operations. However, we are now taking action against them.” These scammers had established fully operational offices to serve as their official addresses for conducting multimillion-dollar transactions, with some individuals impersonating various government agents. “Some pose as police officers, others as officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and some even as customs officers, complete with fraudulent documentation that we have subsequently uncovered,” Amin noted. The confiscated items, which include a pistol, phones, and a substantial quantity of metal boxes used for storing counterfeit money and gold, were transported to the DCI headquarters. The suspects are scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

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