A Central African nation is missing 2.5 tons of gold and two ministers recently paid a diplomatic visit to the Kenyan president to request assistance apprehending the suspects and try to recover the precious mineral, according to a published report.
The Daily Nation, a newspaper in Nairobi, reports an investigator said the gold valued at $97–plus million was stolen from the Democratic Republic of Congo, smuggled into Kenya then prepared to be sent to overseas markets. DRC officials also requested assistance from Interpol.
The gold is worth about 88.2 billion in Congo/Kinkasha Francs and almost 7.3 trillion Kenyan shillings.
Authorities are concerned about the gold finding its way to the black market, the unsavory underworld and, ultimately, to the acquisition of weaponry in a war-torn region.
The DRC mining and regional/international cooperation minister were dispatched by President Joseph Kabila to deliver a message to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, according to foreign affairs ministry sources.
Regional mineral ministers recently met in Nairobi to discuss exporting mineral resources while Zambia, further south, hosted a similar meeting where attendees adjusted laws aimed at enforcing the smuggling of minerals.
The Kenyan leader agreed to cooperate with the fight against illegal trade. Screening of imports has been heightened.
Just prior to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, gold futures were down 0.57 percent, a loss of $8.10 to $1,407.70 per troy ounce.
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