Lusaka Businessman Accused of Robbing Egyptian National of $5 Million at Airport

Lusaka businessman Shadrick Kasanda has been alleged by the Zambia Police Service to have orchestrated the robbery of Egyptian national Adel Michael Botros, resulting in the theft of $5 million in a startling revelation.
The purported incident unfolded at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka on August 13, 2023, with Kasanda allegedly wielding a pistol during the robbery.

Deputy Inspector of the Airport Division, Arnold Kawangu, has outlined these allegations in an Affidavit – In Opposition submitted to the Lusaka High Court. The affidavit forms part of the legal response to Kasanda’s application for habeas corpus, a legal remedy seeking relief from unlawful detention.

Kawangu’s affidavit opposes Kasanda’s plea for habeas corpus, asserting that the businessman’s detention aligns with charges of aggravated robbery linked to the purported theft from the Egyptian national. The police officer has further indicated that Kasanda’s case file has been forwarded to the National Prosecutions Authority for review and potential directives on prosecution.

Lusaka businessman Kasanda’s recent legal move to seek habeas corpus intervention follows his contention of being unjustly detained on charges of aggravated robbery without being promptly presented before a court of law.

The charges stemmed from activities on August 13th, 2023, when eleven individuals, including Egyptian nationals and Zambians, were arrested and charged with espionage under Zambia’s State Security Act. This development followed their alleged involvement in a Gold Scam investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). .

Among the arrested, a notable figure emerged: Robson Moonga, the Commanding Officer of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) Police. Moonga, alongside five Zambian nationals—Shadreck Kasanda, Jim Belemu, Patrick Kawanu (a pilot), Oswald Diangamo, and Francis Mateyo—found themselves facing these grave accusations. Additionally, five Egyptian nationals, including one Michael Botros, were part of the group facing these charges.

During the DEC’s operation, a considerable amount of evidence was seized from an aircraft at the airport. This evidence included a staggering 602 pieces of suspected fake gold, collectively weighing 127.2 kilograms.

In addition to the gold, authorities reportedly discovered weapons on board, raising further concerns. The aircraft was also said to be stashed with a substantial sum of five million dollars in cash.

The state opted for a nolle prosequi in favor of five Egyptians and one Zambian implicated in the same alleged syndicate. The Egyptian nationals involved in this matter are Walid Botros, Mounir Awad, Mohamed Gooda, Yasser Abdelghafor, and Michael Botros, alongside Zambian chartered accountant Oswald Diangamo.

Lusaka businessman Shadrick Kasanda, one of the key suspects involved in the airport gold scam, was denied bail in another case where he faced charges related to the disposal of property believed to be proceeds of a crime. The decision to deny bail was handed down by the Lusaka High Court on the grounds that his release from detention could potentially prejudice the ongoing case.

In addition to the denial of bail based on the risk of prejudicing the case, the court also cited Mr. Kasanda’s involvement in an espionage case where the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) issued a Certificate of Denial of Bail.

The verdict to deny bail was delivered by a panel of three High Court Judges: Pixxie Yangailo, Ian Mabbolobbolo, and Vincent Siloka.

Mr. Kasanda had sought bail through his legal representatives, arguing that he was entitled to it because the charges against him in the proceeds of crime case were bailable. However, the state countered this argument by asserting that his bail application for the proceeds of crime matter was invalidated by the Certificate of Denial of Bail issued in connection with his espionage case.

This development added to the legal complications surrounding Mr. Kasanda, who has been embroiled in high-profile cases related to alleged criminal activities, including the notorious airport gold scam.

The unfolding legal battle surrounding Kasanda’s alleged involvement in the high-profile robbery underscores the gravity of the accusations leveled against him. As the legal proceedings advance, stakeholders await further developments to shed light on the intricacies of the case and determine the appropriate course of action.

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