DCI Exposes How Conmen Use JKIA to Trick Wealthy Kenyans

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    The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi
  • The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has unearthed a new scheme in which fake gold scammers are using Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to defraud unsuspecting individuals.

    In a statement released on Sunday, June 27, the directorate indicated that the conmen have settled on Swissport freight, since it provides ground and cargo handling services in major airports across the globe.

    They are said to store their fake consignments at the freight located at JKIA so as to avoid detection by detectives.

    In a clever gold scam that has seen businessmen from across the world lose hundreds of millions of shillings, the cons have been luring unsuspecting investors to view the gold at the customs offices at JKIA, the region’s preferred international aviation hub.

    An image of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation(DCI) headquarters in Kiambu Road, Nairobi
    A file image of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) headquarters in Kiambu Road, Nairobi

    Once at the airport, a prospective buyer is lured to Swissport’s strong room, where what appears to be genuine gold bars are displayed.

    The client is advised that once the transaction is completed, the gold will be shipped to any destination of his choice across the globe.

    In the latest con-game, a businessman was defrauded Ksh34 million after being promised that he would receive gold bars.

    The fraudsters claim that the prospective clients will receive the consignment after making payments but immediately they receive the money, they disappear from the radar.

    "In a well-coordinated and orchestrated scheme that detectives have been monitoring closely, the fraudsters began by acquiring posh premises in high-end estates, guarded round the clock by police officers.

    "It is in these upmarket establishments, where they perfected the art of international organized gold scam fraud, by luring unsuspecting genuine investors from across the world to part with millions of money in exchange of fake gold," the DCI stated in a statement.

    The new trick is a mutation from a previously used scam in which the fraudsters would deposit the fake bars in bank safes.

    They exploited the services of custody of private memorabilia & treasure banking and started depositing fake gold in banks.

    Investors armed with genuine bank documents were herded to the same banks to confirm the gold deposits and parted with millions in exchange for the fake gold.

    In an operation led by the DCI in March 2019, detectives had stormed a prominent international bank with tentacles across major world capitals and discovered dozens of fake gold deposits, that had been shown to many traders who fell victim to the scheme.

    "Following the collapse of this gimmick, the fraudsters have now reinvented themselves, and creatively devised a seemingly smart way of luring investors to airports, to be shown the gold.

    "Detectives have uncovered that the multi-million shilling conspiracy, is executed with the assistance of various agencies, including some government institutions," continued the statement.

    Various high ranking officials have over the years been involved in fake gold scams.

    Fake gold bars seized at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
    Fake gold bars seized at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
    armed suspect armed scam