Kamlesh Pattni: Gold Smuggler, Pastor Moves Operation To Zimbabwe, Dubai After Kenya Scandal
Kamlesh Pattni, a gold smuggler implicated in a scandal that robbed Kenya of 10 per cent of its GDP in the 1990s has moved his smuggling operation to Zimbabwe and Dubai, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit (I-Unit) can reveal.
Kamlesh Pattni was involved in the Goldenberg scam, a gold smuggling operation that robbed Kenya of $600mn and led to charges of corruption against many members of then President Daniel Arap Moi’s government.
After years of prosecution, Pattni was acquitted.
Pattni, who later became a self-proclaimed pastor and sometimes goes by the name Brother Paul, is now running a similar scheme in Zimbabwe from his base of operations in Dubai.
The revelation is part of Al Jazeera’s Gold Mafia, a four-part series investigating some of Southern Africa’s largest gold smugglers and money launderers.
Undercover Al Jazeera reporters pretending to be Chinese criminals were offered several options by Pattni to launder more than $100mn.
He would do this by effectively turning the dirty money into gold that is exported from Zimbabwe to Dubai, where Pattni owns several gold-trading companies.
Pattni exports gold bars and jewellery from Zimbabwe through his company Suzan General Trading, which gets paid an incentive by the government to sell gold overseas.
The plan Pattni suggested would mean the dirty money, in US dollars, would be flown to Harare, where it would be declared as the proceeds of the gold exported by Suzan General Trading.
That money is then used to buy more gold in Zimbabwe, which would then be exported to one of Pattni’s Dubai-based companies.
Owning both the exporter in Zimbabwe and the importer in Dubai gives Pattni the opportunity to launder the money, which would then be paid into a Dubai bank account and would appear to come from legitimate gold trade. Pattni himself would take a 10 per cent commission.