As Kenyans continue to wait for the whole truth about the probe into the ongoing Gold Scam, more intricate details are now emerging of a daring man who had access to the corridors of power to an extent that he played the Fred Matiang’i role so well.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations are in hot pursuit of a new suspect, identified only as ‘Mukiri’ believed to have impersonated Interior Cabinet secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i.
Mukiri, a seemingly well-connected impostor was among the architects and purveyors of a multimillion-shilling fake gold scam that has not only thrown into the mix the country’s big political names, but also nearly pushed Kenya and the United Arab Emirates into a diplomatic row.
A couple of smart and smooth-tongued operators with capacity to mimic the voices of top government officials, took a relative of the Emir of UAE for a long expensive ride in the name of buying gold—fake gold.
With connivance and assistance of security personnel, politicos and government officials and in what now reads like a script from a Hollywood blockbuster, detectives have begun piecing together how Ali Zandi, a nephew of the Emir of UAE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was conned of Sh400 million.
Investigations have shifted to a Mukiri who was at the epicentre of the melodrama; a man who with ease passed off as Matiang’i, acting the role of the authoritative man who would see to it that the gold was finally delivered to Zandi at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and, if need be, short-circuit the procedures if circumstances demanded so.
So elaborately orchestrated was Mukiri’s act that at one point he inspected a guard of honour to convince the Dubai businessman that he was indeed the Interior CS.
As police launched a manhunt of Mukiri, detectives traced the origin of the scheme to September 25, 2018 when a group of businessmen posing as gold dealers reportedly approached Zandi, who represents Zlivia Company—a Dubai-based gold trading firm—and promised they would deliver a five-tonne gold consignment from DR Congo which was to be transported by road via Uganda and upon reaching Kenya, would be shipped to Dubai through JKIA.
To facilitate movement and avoid unnecessary police checks, the cargo was to bear the United Nations stamps.
In September 27, 2018, Mukiri reportedly used fake social media report claiming the gold had been detained at JKIA, prompting Zandi to seek the help of Senator Moses Wetang’ula to have the consignment released, given his networks as former Foreign Affairs Minister.