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Former Kenyan minister detained in Uganda over alleged gold smuggling

Former Kenyan minister detained in Uganda over alleged gold smuggling
FILE - In this file photo taken Nov. 8, 2006, gold bars are on display at the "Gold" exhibit in the   -  
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Ugandan authorities are currently detaining Stephen Tarus, Kenya's former Assistant Minister for Internal Security, on charges of smuggling gold into the country using counterfeit documents.

Arrested last week, Mr. Tarus was brought before a Ugandan anti-corruption court on Wednesday to face accusations of falsifying export documents, as stated by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). The URA revealed that the use of fraudulent trade documentation resulted in significant financial losses for the Ugandan government.

The charges against Mr. Tarus specifically pertain to the forgery of export documents related to 13 kilograms of gold valued at $30,000 (£24,000). The URA suspects that the gold was intended for Dubai as part of an illicit smuggling operation.

Pending further investigations into the incident, Mr. Tarus has been remanded at Luzira prison until January 18. As of now, he has not issued any statements regarding the allegations.

The 57-year-old, who previously served as an assistant minister under the late President Mwai Kibaki, as well as Kenya's high commissioner to Australia from 2009 to 2012, also held the position of Member of Parliament between 2003 and 2007. 

The case has drawn attention due to the high-profile nature of Mr. Tarus' political background and the severity of the charges he faces in connection to the alleged gold smuggling operation.

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