BY NT CORRESPONDENT.
The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji wants a Liberian accused of stealing gold worth Sh54.7 million detained pending the determination of the trial.
The DPP urged the court to expedite the trial of Joseph Bedell. The foreigner is implicated in gold fraud after arriving in the country on April 4.
The DPP through prosecutor Anderson Gikunda told the court that the accused mysteriously disappeared at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with the gold consignment weighing 6.4 kilograms of Gold and worth USD 408,229. He was allegedly headed for Dubai.
“It is therefore my humble request that the accused person be denied bond until the case is heard and determined and at the soonest time possible taking into consideration that the complainant too is a foreigner,” the prosecutor told the court.
The court further heard that the accused is a flight risk and the police are yet to recover the gold.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused person is likely to interfere with witnesses who are still being interrogated.
According to the police, most of the witnesses are workers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and it is suspected that some might have aided him when he arrived in the country.
“Upon his arrest, he could not satisfactorily explain the reason for his presence in the country as he was supposed to be on transit to Dubai,” the prosecution said.
He said several members officials of the Kenya Airways, Immigration Department, Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and some officers from the National Police Service are being interrogated to find out how the accused managed to enter into the country and those found culpable will be arrested and charged.
The court heard that a report was made at the DCI whereby investigations were carried out and the accused was arrested at a restaurant within Gigiri on 6th of April 2023.
He was detained at Capitol Hill Police Station before being arraigned for plea taking.
The court further heard that the accused is part of a larger cartel of gold scammers who are tarnishing Kenya’s name.
The prosecutor said it was shocking that the accused person was able to sneak from the JKIA transit section with stolen gold after luring unsuspecting businessmen from far away countries and then coming all the way to Nairobi to defraud them.
He said if released on bond he is likely to continue scamming unsuspecting businessmen from around the world into Kenya.
Bedell charged with stealing over Sh54.7 million while on transit. He appeared before Nairobi Milimani Chief Magistrate Lukas Onyina and denied the charges.
The 57-year-old Bedell allegedly committed the offence on the 4th day of April 2023 Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The 6.483 kg of gold bars belonged to Shanmugam Sundar Darmaraju and was in transit from Liberia to Dubai.
He was further accused that on diverse dates between 30 March 2023 and 4th April 2023, at an unknown place, with others not before court, he conspired to steal the gold.