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DEC COMPLAINS AGAINST FOREIGN SUSPECTS IN GOLD SCANDAL

By GRACE CHAILE

THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has submitted to the Lusaka High Court that the foreign nationals linked to the raging gold and US$5.7 million cash scandal have been uncooperative during investigations.

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DEC senior investigations officer in charge at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), Ian Chimbwali said the delay in presenting the foreign suspects to court was because of their obstinate attitude towards investigations while the four Zambian suspects have been cooperative.

 He said Ali Abdulla Ali Al-Safi, a St Kitts and Nevis national, Egyptian Noha Salaheldin Aly Nadim, David De La Cruz Castilla from Spain and Dutch national Teunis De Mooij were on August 18, 2023, warned and cautioned but they refused to be charged and arrested.

Mr Chimbwali said on the same day August 18, 2023, Al-Safi suspiciously fell ill and was taken to hospital, therefore he and other eight suspects could not be charged.

“That the applicants have generally been uncooperative as regards the procedures of being charged,” he said.

The investigations officer also submitted that the other delay was because the Prosecutors were attending the National inaugural prosecutors’ conference and a memo by the Chief Justice to allow adjournments of all matters involving the prosecutors was circulated in that regard.

Mr Chimbwali said this in an affidavit in opposition to the application for issue of writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum.

The four alleged to be detained at Chelstone Police Station argued their fundamental and constitutional guaranteed rights to freedom and liberty are being blatantly violated and unfairly prejudiced.

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