Kenya and DRC in deal to fight illegal gold trade
Posted Thursday, March 3 2011 at 14:21
The governments of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have established a joint team to investigate alleged trade in illegal gold.
The team will work closely with the others in the two countries that area already involved in investigations on alleged illicit trade.
The move follows a meeting between Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki and his DRC counterpart Joseph Kabila at the former's Harambee House office in Nairobi.
During Thursday’s meeting, the two leaders also discussed ways of enhancing trade between their nations.
Their discussions also centred on regional and sub-regional issues, including security and bilateral cooperation.
The two presidents also discussed how to cooperate and curb illegal exploitation of minerals in the Great Lakes region.
President Kabila was in Nairobi for talks with President Kibaki over a gold smuggling syndicate involving the two countries.
Kenya's police top brass was summoned to give an update of their ongoing investigations on the matter.
Investigators say the precious metal is stolen from DRC and smuggled to overseas markets through Kenya.
Already, the mineral-rich DRC has requested Interpol to track suspected smugglers and seize any consignments on transit in Kenya.
In the latest incident, some 2.5 tonnes of the mineral, with an estimated value of $113 million, was stolen from Eastern Congo last month.
It is suspected that the consignment was headed for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The DRC officials requested Kenyan authorities to arrest the culprits, intercept the haul and surrender it to Kinshasa.