Eight traders arrested for smuggling gold from Tanzania

Monday May 30 2022

Tanzanian officials at a small-scale mining centre in Karatu District, Arusha. PHOTO | BEATRICE MATERU


Eight traders have been arrested in Tanzania's northwestern region of Geita for smuggling an unspecified amount of gold out of the country, an official said on Sunday.

Doto Biteko, the Minister for Minerals, announced the arrest at a meeting with small-scale miners at Lwamgasa area in the gold-rich Geita region.

Mr Biteko said the government launched a clampdown on the unscrupulous gold traders after sales started going down in minerals trading centres. 

Read: Gold exports make up half of Tanzania export earnings

"The eight traders have been detained helping police in their investigations," he said. He, however, declined to say how much gold was found in their possession. 

Mr Biteko urged traders to stop buying gold in the streets and instead buy the precious stones in state-run mineral trading centres.

In 2019, Tanzania set up government-controlled minerals trading centres in efforts aimed at curbing illegal exports of gold and other precious minerals. The centres give small-scale miners direct access to a formal, regulated market where they can trade their gold. 


Read: Tanzania’s extractive sector reaps from reforms

Also read: Trading centres boost Tanzania’s mining sector