Tanzania police arrest group of gold smugglers
DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 7 — Tanzanian police said on Sunday they have arrested a group of suspects in connection with the attempted smuggling of 323.6 kilograms of gold out of the country.
On Saturday, police in collaboration with Mwanza regional safety and security committee seized the gold at the city’s Kigongo Ferry on the shores of Lake Victoria.
At the same time, Mwanza Acting Regional Police Commander Advera Bulimba, said the police have launched a manhunt for other suspected smugglers, adding they need to eliminate the syndicate of gold smuggling.
Bulimba said the arrested suspects whose number and names were withheld on investigative reasons were also found in possession of some 300 million Tanzanian shillings (about 130,000 U.S. dollars) which were hidden in the boot of a car.
“We are determined to end mineral smuggling as well as to control all types of crimes. We are going to arrest all the culprits involved in this scam,” Bulimba told a news conference in the lake side city of Mwanza.
The senior police officer appealed to Mwanza residents to collaborate with the police in the hunt for the remaining suspects.
Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella said the gold smuggling ring was smashed after the police were tipped-off.
Mongella said security has been enhanced to control minerals smuggling in the region.
In December 2017, police in Zanzibar arrested a prominent businessman as he allegedly attempted to smuggle out eight kilograms of gold.
In August 2017, police seized 14 kilograms of diamonds at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam as they were about to be smuggled out.
The diamonds were valued at about 29.5 million U.S. dollars. – XINHUA