The eleven individuals, including Egyptian nationals and Zambians, have been arrested and charged with espionage under Zambia’s State Security Act. This development follows their alleged involvement in a Gold Scam investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). The suspects were presented before the Lusaka Magistrate Court for an explanation of the charges, marking a significant moment in this unfolding case.
Among the arrested, a notable figure emerged: Robson Moonga, the Commanding Officer of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) Police. Moonga, alongside five Zambian nationals—Shadreck Kasanda, Jim Belemu, Patrick Kawanu (a pilot), Oswald Diangamo, and Francis Mateyo—found themselves facing these grave accusations. Additionally, five Egyptian nationals, including one Michael Botros, are part of the group facing these charges.
The charges brought against these individuals stem from their activities on August 13th, 2023, when they allegedly entered the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport with intentions deemed detrimental to the safety and interests of Zambia.
During the DEC’s operation, a considerable amount of evidence was seized from an aircraft at the airport. This evidence included a staggering 602 pieces of suspected fake gold, collectively weighing 127.2 kilograms. In addition to the gold, authorities reportedly discovered weapons on board, raising further concerns. The aircraft was also said to be stashed with a substantial sum of five million dollars in cash.
Despite the magnitude of the charges and the compelling evidence collected by the DEC, the suspects did not enter a plea during their appearance at the Lusaka Magistrate Court. This is because the case falls beyond the jurisdiction of the Subordinate Court, which means that it will be referred to the High Court for trial.