Tanzania: DC Launches Operation to Check Mineral Smuggling

TARIME District Commissioner (DC) Mtemi Msafiri has launched an operation to control the smuggling and export of minerals through the Sirari border said to be the main gateway for illegal mineral business.

The DC said his office had realised that apart from the opening of mineral markets, still some unscrupulous traders and criminals were smuggling minerals.

He said some foreigners collaborated with citizens to export minerals illegally and his office in collaboration with other officials from different organs was working hard to address the challenge.

"The smuggling of minerals denies the government tax and other revenues. We cannot allow this to continue," he said.

He added that his office had discovered that some traders were buying minerals from small-scale miners contrary to agreed procedures.

He noted that smuggling violated government directives, which needed miners to sell minerals at stabling mineral markets.

Last year, the government directed all mineral-producing regions to set up trading centres by the end of June to curb illegal export of gold and other minerals.

The trading centres were designed to give small-scale miners direct access to a formal, regulated market where they could go and trade their gold.

Small-scale miners produce about 20 tonnes of gold per year in Tanzania, but about 90 per cent of the output was illegally exported, according to a report by a parliamentary committee.

Tanzania is Africa's fourth biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.

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