An official claimed on Sunday that eight dealers were arrested in Geita, Tanzania’s northern province, for smuggling an undefined amount of gold out of the country.
The arrest was reported by Doto Biteko, the Minister of Minerals, at a meeting with small-scale miners in the gold-rich Geita region’s Lwamgasa district.
After-sales in minerals trading centres began to decline, Mr Biteko claimed the authorities launched a crackdown on unscrupulous gold sellers.
“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.