In a recent incident that has sparked international speculation and intrigue, Egypt army officer was reportedly seized on a private plane, carrying $5.7 millions in cash, gold, and weapons in Zambia.
This information has been brought to light by open-source investigations, which have alleged the involvement of the major in this controversial affair.
The details of this peculiar event emerged from a leaked letter believed to have been sent by the lawyers of five Egyptians who were aboard the chartered plane. The letter, addressed to Nason Banda, the director general of Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Commission, confirmed that the named individuals have been detained since 13 August and that the lawyers are acting on their behalf.
One of the individuals mentioned in the leaked letter is said to have worked as an assistant military attaché with the title of a major at the Egyptian embassy in Washington between 2011 and 2012. This background draws attention to possible connections and raises questions about the motive behind this operation.
An additional person mentioned in the letter is reportedly a gold trader who owns several jewelry stores in Egypt. This revelation adds another layer of complexity to the situation, providing further avenues for investigation and speculation.
Middle East Eye reached out to the Egyptian embassy in Washington for comment, but there has been no response as of the time of publication. The lack of clarification or official statement from the embassy only adds to the mystery and raises concerns about potential diplomatic implications.
According to reports, the private plane in question had flown from Cairo to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, before being taken into custody by Zambian authorities on Tuesday. The subsequent search of the aircraft uncovered an astonishing sum of money, with over $5.69 million in cash, along with 602 suspected gold bars and five handguns with 126 rounds of ammunition.
Further complicating the situation, ten individuals, including six Egyptians, a Dutchman, a Spaniard, a Latvian, and a Zambian citizen, were arrested and are now being held pending further investigation. The diverse nationalities involved in this incident underscore its international nature and the potential ramifications it may have across borders.
The plane, owned by an undisclosed private entity, was supposed to return to Egypt after completing its business transactions. However, it is now being held in custody, and the passengers are still under investigation.
The details surrounding this incident remain murky, as conflicting reports and limited information have made it difficult to ascertain the exact circumstances. A letter, purportedly sent by the Zambian law firm Eric Silwamba, Jalasi & Linyama Legal Practitioners to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), shed some light on the situation. The letter stated that the plane passengers were still in custody as of Thursday. However, it is important to note that the authenticity of this letter could not be independently verified by Who Owns Africa.
Attempts to reach out to Eric Silwamba, Jalasi & Linyama Legal Practitioners for comment on the matter were met with silence. The law firm did not respond to Who Owns Africa’s request by the time of publication. This lack of response only adds to the mystery surrounding this incident.
Interestingly, Egyptian authorities have remained silent on the matter, and Egyptian media outlets that initially reported on the seizure have now deleted the stories. The absence of an official comment from the Egyptian government raises questions about their involvement in this operation.
However, an unnamed Egyptian source told the state news agency that the plane was privately owned and had successfully passed all safety and security inspections, adhering to the highest standards applied at Egyptian airports.
The same source also mentioned that the plane did not possess Egyptian nationality, suggesting that its ownership lies elsewhere. Unfortunately, no further details have been provided regarding the origins of the aircraft. It is worth noting that the lack of transparency surrounding this incident has made it challenging to gather concrete information and establish a clear narrative.
According to the Zambian Observer website, there were allegedly four other planes at the airport which may be connected to the confiscated plane. This revelation raises the possibility of a broader scheme or coordinated effort involving multiple aircraft.