Zambia: Mystery Plane Carrying Gold, Weapons, Cash Lands in Zambia

Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) intercepted an aircraft carrying five million dollars in cash and over 100kg of suspected gold at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport near the capital Lusaka, according to several sources.

Found on the plane were $5,697,700 in cash, five pistols, seven magazines, 126 rounds of ammunition, 602 pieces of suspected gold weighing 127.7 kg, and equipment for measuring gold. Later, Zambian authorities determined that the pieces were not pure gold and were in fact mixed with zinc, copper, and nickel.

Five Egyptians and six Zambians who were linked to the mysterious plane appeared in court Monday afternoon as reported by AFP.

The Drug Enforcement Commission said the chartered aircraft was transporting "dangerous goods".

Judge Davies Chimbwili said that they were accused of having acted "for purposes that were prejudicial to the safety and interest of the Republic of Zambia."

They were later taken into custody.

Court papers seen by AFP list a former Egyptian military person and businessman as well as a Zambian police officer among the suspects.

The story, much of which remains unclear, has continued making waves in Egypt.

An Egyptian journalist who was arrested in Cairo following reports accusing officials of involvement in smuggling cash, weapons and gold, was later released.

However, Egyptian state media had claimed the aircraft in question was privately owned and that it had only transited through Cairo.

The suspects could face up to 30 years in jail under Zambian law.

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