Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Zambia’s T7WSS private jet mystery: More Mysteries as 5 Egyptians to face espionage charges in the gold gate

In an unexpected turn of events on Monday, Zambia's Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) formally levelled accusations against five Egyptians and six Zambians, all entangled in the controversy surrounding the T7WSS private jet's gold gate scandal.

Notably, the DEC has implicated these individuals, including a senior officer and a state house official from both nationalities, with charges of espionage.

Zambian Newspaper's News Digger published the photos of two Egyptian detainees

This curious development raises questions about how espionage allegations emerged, especially since the initial press release and conference by the DEC Commissioner omitted any mention of espionage.

Adding to the perplexity is the discrepancy in the count of Egyptians involved, fluctuating from six to five, as per varying statements from the DEC.


This enigma deepens the intrigue surrounding the enigmatic sixth Egyptian participant in this ill-fated journey.

The involvement of the Drugs Enforcement Commission in espionage cases also raises eyebrows, as its role in such matters is unconventional and puzzling.

What unfolds here is a mystery nested within another. The five Egyptian suspects made their first appearance before a Lusaka court, choosing to remain anonymous under hooded attire and refraining from addressing reporters.

These Egyptians currently under suspicion of espionage have been identified as follows:

  • Walid Refaat Fahmi Botros: General Manager
  • Mounir Shaker Georges Awad: Factory Owner
  • Mohamed Abdel-Hak Mohamed Gooda: Pensioner Colonel 
  • Yasser Mokhtar Abdel-Ghafor: Health and Safety Officer
  • Micheal Adel Michel Boutros: Businessman

Among the six Zambians implicated are:

  • Shadrick Kasanda: Lusaka Businessman
  • Jim Belemu: Chief Executive Officer of Mahogany Air
  • Patrick Kawanu: Commercial Pilot
  • Oswald Diangamo: Accountant
  • Francis Mateyo: Individual
  • Robson Moonga: Senior Police Officer

The Zambian group faces additional charges, including obtaining money under false pretences, as per their lawyer's statements.

The potential consequences for these defendants are severe, with prison sentences ranging from 20 to 30 years, in accordance with Zambia's State Security Act.

In an attempt to secure their release on bail, the defendants appeared before the court and presented their request.


However, the Zambian Director of Public Prosecution promptly dismissed this appeal on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Court rejected to release them on bail. 

Back in Egypt, conspiracy theories abound.

The most recent speculation suggests that Saudi Arabia might have intervened to facilitate the departure of the enigmatic sixth individual from Lusaka back to Cairo. This theory draws on the visit of the Saudi Advisor at the Royal Court Ambassador Ahmed Kattan to Zambia on August 22.

During his visit, Kattan conveyed a verbal message from King Salman of Saudi Arabia to Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, touching on bilateral relations and collaborative strategies.

These conspiracy theories flourish due to the dearth of credible sources—both official and unofficial.

On the evening of Monday, Egypt's official news agency MENA reported that Egyptian and Zambian authorities have established a coordinated effort in the ongoing interrogations involving certain Egyptians who are presently held in custody within Zambia.

This insight was shared by an anonymous knowledgeable insider.

Furthermore, the relevant authorities have been diligently overseeing the interrogation procedures and closely monitoring any legal steps taken in relation to the case.

As the intricacies of this scandal continue to unravel, the story remains shrouded in uncertainty and intrigue.

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