He said among means the smugglers use include foreigners from Asia whom he said when at the border apply for tourist visas but instead come to engage in minerals smuggling.
He said due to rampant purchase of gold from smaller private mines scattered in Mara region, some small traders have been disregarding government directives to sell them to the official local markets.
DC Mtemi said the Sirari border area in Tarime District is over 40 kms long hence it is easy for smugglers to smuggle out minerals and other contrabands.
“This operation is sustainable and the government will take stern steps against all those who will involve themselves in the economic sabotage acts,” he warned.
Last week defense and security organs intercepted 27 kgs of gold whose valued was estimated at over 3bn/- while being smuggled outside the country without valid permits by a trader of Asian origin – Bhawesh Gandecha, a Mwanza resident who was also arrested.
The trader is alleged to have given a false declaration at the customs border post saying he was trying to take his car to the other side for sale, but after officials became suspicious inspected the car and found the gold.
The trader was taken to court and convicted – he was sentenced to 7 years in jail or pay 315m/- fine, which he paid.
The court also ordered the seized gold and the vehicle with Reg T 366 DKY confiscated.