$1 Million in Gold Seized from Kenya Airways Passenger
A Tanzanian man was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Friday after authorities received a tip that he was carrying $1 million worth of gold as he was preparing to board a Kenya Airways flight to Dubai.
Earlier Friday, the 46-year-old man had flown into Nairobi from Mwanza via Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, when officials found 32 kilograms — more than 70 pounds — of gold in the man's possession, according to the Kenya Revenue Authority.
As part of an effort to protect the resources and mining industries of Africa's Great Lakes region, which includes both Tanzania and Kenya, transporting unfinished precious metals and stones across borders is restricted by The East African Community, an intergovernmental organization of six African nations. The man who was arrested did not have any permits or government certificates, which are required in Kenya to clear customs with precious materials.
Kenya Airways has a weight limit for baggage on international flights at 50 pounds per bag for passengers in economy and 70 pounds per bag for passengers in business class. It's unclear which cabin the Tanzanian man was flying in. Regardless, the total weight exceeded either cabins' requirements.
News of this gold seizure comes on the heels of an arrest made last week, February 12, when an alleged Kenya Airways crew member was arrested in Mumbai after he was caught smuggling 23 kilograms of gold bricks into India. A Kenyan man was also arrested with him — authorities believe he was there to collect the gold bricks. The two were arrested at a five-star hotel near the airport.
Precious metals and stones are found and mined in several regions in Africa. The East African Community is made up of six African countries — the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda — where there's a need to protect their countries' natural resources.
H/T: Good Morning America