Gold weighing 27.488 kilograms, said to be worth over Sh2.9 billion which were illegally smuggled from Kenya to Tanzania has been seized by the government.
The gold belonging to Tanzanian businessman BhaweshChandulalGandecha, was seized by Customs office at the Tanzania and Kenya Sirari border post on May 15, 2020.
TheCitizen reported that the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) manager for Mara Region, Mr Wallace Mkande, said the businessman was caught trying to smuggle the precious stones from neighbouring Kenya into Tanzania without having customs tariff documents.
“When the businessman was asked by the customs officers whether he had the customs tariff documents for his gold, he told the officers that he had already paid the tariff but he was yet to be given the receipts,” MrMkande told The Citizen in an interview yesterday.
He added: “He said the documents were in Dodoma. While he was still at the customs office at the border post, he contacted some people over the telephone, complaining that they were delaying to send him the documents.”
But the customs officers at the border post decided to seize the 27 pieces of gold and a vehicle over the breach of Customs Tariff Act.
“The officers ordered the businessman to process the tariff documents for his gold and instructed him to submit the documents at the office. But he failed to do so within the given specified time, so we detained and subjected him to further investigations and legal procedure,” Mr Mkande said.
The economic sabotage case (number 32 of 2020) was filed at Tarime District Court on May 15, 2020.
According to MrMkande, the Court charged the offender with three counts include; organizing criminal gang, running minerals trade without government documents and money laundering.
The offender accepted the charges. He later entered in plea bargaining with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), revealed MrMkande.
In June 16, 2020, the case was brought to the Court for the second hearing, hence the Court set free the offender after paying Sh350 million in fines demanded by the Court, according to MrMkande.
Photo Credit: TheCitizen