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Millions Of Dollars And Weapons Seized At Lusaka Airport


  • Significant amount of money, guns, and gold were seized at Lusaka airport after a tip about a secret operation.
  • Authorities discovered a private foreign aircraft loaded with weapons that included pistols and ammunition.
  • The suspects arrived on a charter plane from Cairo, Egypt, and some of them have connections to the Egyptian military and gold trading industry.

Up to $6 million and several guns were discovered and seized at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka, Zambia, earlier this week. It came after authorities reportedly received a tip suggesting that the money and the dangerous weapons were onboard a charter flight.

At least 10 people connected to the situation have been arrested, with more expected. Recently, local leaders have been reportedly concerned about the illegal lifting of materials, especially gold, from Zambia.

A secret operation

According to the Heritage TImes, the situation began last Monday evening when rumors swirled around on social media that a serious secret undertaking was happening at the old terminal at LUN, the largest airport in the country.


Photo: Chris Melville/Shutterstock

As officers from different security agencies worked to investigate and establish facts, they discovered a suspicious private foreign aircraft was indeed loaded with weapons, gold, and more than $5 million cash.

The Daily News reported that the weapons seized included five pistols, seven magazines, and 126 rounds of ammunition. Over 600 pieces of suspected gold were also found, weighing around pounds (127 kilograms), in addition to equipment used to measure gold.

10 suspects

Authorities were prompted to investigate after the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) reportedly received a tip notifying them that a charter plane, known as Global Express T7-WW, had landed at LUN on Sunday.

In a statement obtained by the Daily News, DEC Director General Nason Banda spoke about the incident.

“The Commission has since seized the Global Express T7-WW on which the above items were found and another aircraft belonging to a local airline whose make is King Air B190. The 10 suspects including a Zambian, have been detained awaiting further investigations.”

Airplane Silhouette

Photo: Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock

It is unclear if the confiscated items are politically connected. There have reportedly been ongoing concerns from stakeholders and politicians regarding the suspected illegal lifting of materials from Zambia, with gold being the primary concern. According to the Heritage Times, the Opposition Leader of the Socialist Party, Fed M’membe and Binwell Mpundu, another Parliamentarian, have been on record making claims of gold and other materials being carried out illegally from the country.

Details on the suspects

Multiple sources report that private aircraft arrived from Cairo, Egypt, and was supposed to return after doing business deals in Zambia. On Friday, it was revealed that an Egyptian army officer was allegedly onboard the aircraft when Zambian authorities seized it. Additionally, the names of five Egypt natives onboard were leaked in a letter sent by lawyers to Banda, according to the Middle East Eye. Per the letter, the individuals have been held in custody since August 13th.

The letter also states that one of the individuals reportedly worked as an assistant military attache at the Egyptian embassy in Washington DC in 2011 and 2012, and another is a gold trader who owns multiple jewelry stores in Egypt.

Officials in Egypt have not yet commented on the situation.

Sources: Heritage Times, Daily News, Middle East Eye


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