Another Liberian national detained over Sh 54 million gold theft at JKIA

Joseph Bedell at Milimani Law Courts where the prosecution sought to have him detained until the conclusion of his case.

A Liberian national accused of stealing gold worth Sh 54 million at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi will remain in custody until 17th April when the court will decide whether to grant him bail or not.

This is after the Director of Public Prosecution opposed the release of Joseph Bedell who got into Kenya under unclear circumstances.

According to the DPP, Bedell is at flight risk and if released on bail, he may abscond court.

The 57 year old is charged with stealing 6.483 Kgs of gold bars valued at USD 408,229 equivalent to Sh 54,702,686 from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while was in transit from Liberia to Dubai, the property of Shanmugam Sundar Darmaraju.

Through prosecutor Anderson Gikunda, The DPP told the court that the accused is a foreigner who arrived in the country on 4th April from Monrovia.

It is alleged that Bedell had brought the gold which he and the complainant were transporting to Dubai through Nairobi before he mysteriously escaped with the said gold from the transit section at JKIA.

“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,” said the DPP.

Investigating officer Sergeant Rinos Musungu told the court that the suspect was supposed to board a flight to Dubai with the alleged gold but disappeared and never boarded the aircraft. 

The officer added that the complainant later made a report with the DCI and investigations commenced. This led to the arrest of Bedell from a restaurant within Gigiri on 6th April 2023.

“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,” officer Musungu said.

The court heard that several members of staff of the Kenya Airways, Immigration Department, Kenya Airports Authority, KRA, and some officers from the National Police Service are being interrogated in regards to how the accused managed to enter into the country and those found culpable will be arrested and charged.

The court further heard that the accused is part of a larger cartel of Gold Scammers who are tarnishing the good name of our country as it is shocking that he is able to sneak from JKIA transit section with stolen gold after luring unsuspecting businessmen from far countries and then coming all the way to Nairobi to defraud them.