Gold & dollars laden plane seized by Zambia not Egypt-flagged: Informed Egyptian source

Ahram Online , Wednesday 16 Aug 2023

An informed Egyptian source said that the plane that was recently seized by the Zambian authorities in Lusaka -- reportedly carrying $5.6 million in cash and 602 suspected gold bars weighing 127.2 kg -- is not an Egypt-flagged aircraft.

airport Zambia
File Photo: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.


The informed source told the Egyptian state news agency (MENA) on Wednesday that "the plane [that was seized by the Zambian authorities] is a privately-owned plane and not an Egypt-flagged plane."

According to a statement on Tuesday by the Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Zambian authorities seized a private plane which came from Cairo at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the capital of Lusaka.

The DEC said the seized plane was carrying $5.6 million, 602 pieces of suspected gold bars weighing 127.2 kg, and several loaded pistols.

"The plane had transited through Cairo International Airport," confirmed the informed source to MENA, adding that "it passed all safety and security inspections per the highest standards applied at all Egyptian airports."

The Egyptian and Zambian authorities are coordinating their efforts to investigate the controversial incident, stressed the source.

Also on Tuesday, the DEC announced that a second aircraft, a King Air B190 belonging to a local airline, was also seized by Zambian authorities.

The informed Egyptian source told MENA that this second plane seized by the Zambian authorities had not crossed through Egyptian airspace.

The Zambian authorities said they have detained 10 individuals during the seizures, including a Zambian, six Egyptians, a Dutch, a Spaniard, and a Latvian for further investigation, according to the DEC.

Matsada2sh, an online fact-checking platform, said on its Twitter account the DEC identification of the plane’s registration as T7-WW was incorrect because no such registration number exists.

Instead, using the Flightradar24 live aircraft tracking date website, Matsada2sh identified the plane as T7-WSS --  a twin-engine business jet which is affiliated with a private owner and is registered in San Marino.

Flightradar24 navigation data also showed that the plane in question departed from Amman Airport in Jordan on Saturday evening and arrived in Cairo at around midnight, added Matsada2sh.

The plane resumed its journey from Cairo International Airport at 11am CLT on Sunday and landed at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka at 6:13pm CLT, said Matsada2sh, also citing Flightradar24 data.

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