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PANIC is unnerving law enforcement agencies and other state security wings after it was discovered that one of the suspects arrested in Zambia’s wonder gold scandal, Osward Diangamo should never have been arrested because he is politically highly connected.

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The gold scandal which has kept Zambians intrigued and in suspense with its unfolding developments yesterday saw the Joint Investigative Team (JIT) raid the residence of Lusaka businessman Shadrick Kasanda three times in less than 24 hours in search of gold.

Early in the week, a gold transaction at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) was busted leading to the grounding of a private jet and seizing of several gold bullions and about US$5.7 million and 10 suspects arrested in the process.

But the gold was to turn into copper, zinc and tin, according to Paul Kabuswe, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, creating more mystery and suspicion, resulting into Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Jack Mwiimbu banning government agencies and ministries offering unsolicited comments on the matter.  

And yesterday, sources within the Joint Investigative Team disclosed that panic had gripped the investigative wings after Mr Diangamo was reported to have been among those who had been cornered in the gold heist.

After Mr Diangamo’s name was announced as being among the arrested, there was sudden panic among the law enforcement agencies who later discovered that although he (Diangamo) was a private citizen and not a government official, he had been privileged with a diplomatic passport.

In a hush rush, the JIT raided Mr Kasanda’s residence at three different intervals the first being 03:00 hours. Mr Kasanda becomes the latest suspect to be linked to the two jets carrying over US$$5.6 million and gold, which was to be intercepted after a whistleblower raised alarm.

Mr Kasanda was taken to the joint investigative team offices at 15:30 hours for interrogation and by press time, there was little information about the interrogation as the DEC director general Nason Banda could not be reached for comment because he was unable to talk.

“I cannot talk,” said Mr Banda in a short text message after he was called for a comment.

Earlier in the day, Mr Banda led a group of journalists at KKIA to show that the jests that were seized were still in the country in his attempt to dash the speculation suggesting that the two jets had been released. 



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