The Mining Ministry has warned of a scam involving fraudsters dealing in gold trade.
Rogue mineral dealers have been issuing certificates purportedly give out by the Mining Ministry to show that their gold, which is mostly fake, has been tested and graded, Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu has said.
“The fraud is committed by persons claiming to have huge quantities of gold for sale at discounted prices. Their victims have been unsuspecting Kenyans and foreign nationals,” Mr Kazungu said in an advert in the government publication, My Gov on Tuesday.
The criminals are using false mineral dealers’ licenses, export permits and assay reports purported to have been issued by the ministry.
Other common fraud cases involve demands of hefty upfront payments to facilitate the processing of export documents with relevant authorities, after which no export is done or the consignment turns out to be fake gold.
Mr Kazungu observed there has been an increase in the number of cases involving gold trade which includes export into the country.
He listed Aurical Kenya Ltd as the only company licensed to carry out gold dealings in the country. Modogashe Agencies Ltd and Match Electricals are the companies licensed to carry out mineral dealings other than gold.
“The international dimension to the fraud is giving Kenya a negative and unwelcome reputation in the world of minerals and mining,” Mr Kazungu stated.
In June, a businessman Jared Otieno was charged with obtaining over Sh22 million from two international traders by pretending he would supply them with 50 kilograms of gold.
He was charged with obtaining $169,000 (Sh17,407,000) from Mustaq Hefeji Dawood and 40,500 euros (Sh4,657,500) from Mohammed Imad Mokdad by pretending that he was in a position to sell them gold.
He denied the charges and was released on a Sh3 million bond.