Govt confiscates Sh2.5bn gemstones.


Moshi. The investigation against an India national (name withheld), who was arrested attempting to smuggle tanzanite gemstones worth Sh2.5 billion through the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) has taken a new twist after he accused a famous firm of selling him the precious stones.

The development comes just a few days after Energy and Minerals Deputy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani announced the confiscation of the gemstones weighing 2871 grams in accordance with Minerals Act 6(4) of 2010 as reviewed in 2015 while legal procedures and the investigation were in progress.

Impeccable information from within the Police Force and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals said that the accused has mentioned the firm as the one which sold the tanzanite gemstones to him and it is still unknown whether the sellers paid tax or not. Directors of the firm are claimed to have escorted Indian businessman to KIA and schemed the plan of smuggling the gemstones.

Speaking yesterday over the matter, Northern Zone Minerals Commissioners Alex Magayane said the investigation was still on going.

“The suspect is under arrest and legal procedures are in progress, but those who sold the gemstones are also being pursuit and if they will be found out to have breached the law, action will be taken against them,” he said.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander Fulgence Ngonyani said the investigation was still in progress to identify the whole business network of smuggling precious stones.

“I can’t explain who they are as we are still making a follow-up and we are still continuing with the investigation,” he said. The Indian businessman, who is said to frequent the Arusha City and purchase gemstones, is claimed to have initially obtained an entry permit to purchase gemstones from Tanzanite Forever Ltd, where he, however, did not find the firm director, Faisal Shabhai, who was in India for his child’s medical treatment.     


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