KQ staff held in India over smuggling 156 gold bars valued at Sh100 million

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Employee arrested as he attempted to check in at a Mumbai hotel with 156 bars valued at Sh100 million

KQ 210 that departed at 0705 hours and landed in Mumbai at 1545 local time.

Indian authorities are holding a Kenya Airways employee for smuggling of 156 bars of gold weighing 22.8 kilogrammes from Kenya into Mumbai valued at Sh100 million.

Abdalla Ali, 29, was arrested on Tuesday in a botched attempt to check into a five-star hotel in Mumbai shortly after landing.

Preliminary report He was aboard a KQ 210 that departed at 0705 hours and landed in Mumbai at 1545 local time.

According to preliminary investigations reports shared with Kenyan authorities, Abdalla was hiding the bars in his waist belt and knee caps and had a link man whom he was to hand over the luggage to inside the hotel.

However, his Mumbai contact identified as Ibrahim Hussein, 26, is still at large.

“Yes, indeed he is a Kenya Airways crew. We are awaiting comprehensive information from our counterparts from India,” said a senior KQ official.

However, KQ management and the Kenya Airports Authority have now widened the scope of investigations to unearth possible collusion between KQ and KAA insiders with external gold cartels operating in the country. The illicit trade is flourishing in the country targeting unsuspecting foreigners who are always later deported after being fleeced off their money by Kenyan nationals with their counterparts notably from Nigeria and United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, a Kenyan has been arrested in a suspected human trafficking racket during a raid at an Eastleigh-based hotel in Nairobi where nine illegal Ethiopians were seized.

The nine were said to have been hiding there for weeks on transit to South Africa in what police suspect to be a trans-border human trafficking syndicate.

Suleiman Hassan Fadal, a Kenyan citizen is accused of harbouring the foreigners in what police treat as organised crime.

Police made a breakthrough after storming Moyale Raha Lodging along 10th Street following a tip-off from members of the public.

“We have the suspects in custody and foreigners of Ethiopian origin. The matter is under investigation but they will be arraigned in court.” A senior officer privy to the investigations said.



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