DRC rebel held in Nairobi over smuggled gold

President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo was in Nairobi on March 3,2011 to meet President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the smuggling of the Sh8 billion worth of gold. Kenya police have arrested a DRC rebel commander over the gold haul May 11, 2011. Photo/FILE

Kenya police have arrested a Democratic Republic of Congo rebel commander over the 2.5 tonne gold haul smuggled into the country.

The man, identified by the flying squad as Jean Claude Mudeke Kabamba, is expected in court Thursday.

He is believed to be a commander with the Mai Mai rebel movement.

A joint team was formed in March to intensify the search for the illegal gold consignment.

The move followed a meeting between President Kibaki and DRC President Joseph Kabila in Nairobi.

They met after weeks of a fruitless search for the gold worth Sh8 billion, stolen from DRC in January for export to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The valuable metal is said to be smuggled through Kenya.

“The governments of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo have established a joint team to investigate the alleged trade in illegal gold.

“The team will work closely with detectives in the two countries who had already begun investigations,” said a statement from the president's office.