25 September 2017

Tanzania: Police Cordon Off Mirerani Tanzanite Gemstone Area

THE Police Force has with immediate effect positioned its officers in and around Mirerani mines to control activities taking place and restrain any acts of theft of tanzanite gemstones that can only be found around that northern Tanzanian area.

Manyara Regional Police Commander Francis Massawe told the 'Daily News' that the police took action just as President John Magufuli gave orders to ensure the vital gemstones were not stolen, as it has proved to be the case in the past.

RPC Massawe said they had since positioned themselves well, and that they could now observe meticulously all activities taking place within the mines from Block A to D in terms of mining as well as storage of the tanzanite gems.

"As you are aware the president ordered the TPDF (Tanzania People's Defence Forces) ... through National Service to build a fence around the area.

"A squad has already toured the area ... and we have taken action to reinforce security in the area so as to control theft and any unlawful deals," the RPC said.

The police were also observing security and defence over the whole area, making a close watch over all activities within the mining area and storage facilities to ensure everything was done "in accordance with the law and directives of the government," Massawe added.

On Tanzanite One directors that were arrested recently, the RPC said they were sent to Dar es Salaam for further interrogations - soon after local interrogations.

A parliamentary select committee had found that while the global tanzanite trade for the last 12 years indicate that over 8.2trn/- worth Tanzanite had been traded, TRA documents show only 454bn/-, meaning over 80 per cent of the gemstones were exported illegally.

During his tour here, President Magufuli ordered TPDF through National Service, to build a wall fence around Tanzanite blocks A to D at Mirerani tanzanite mines and install high-tech equipment to monitor mining activities, so the government can earn proper revenue.

He also directed that trading in tanzanite gemstone should now be conducted in Simanjiro only, so as to promote trade and development within the area.

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