Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli said on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 that he personally made a close follow up on what was going on between the gold smuggling suspects and some police officials in Mwanza as they were about to take 323.6 kilogrammes of gold out of the country.
Speaking during the swearing in ceremony of newly appointed ministers and Permanent Secretaries at the State House, Dr Magufuli revealed how the suspects were “escorted” by eight police officers who were attempting to solicitSh1 billion in bribes.
“They were to be given Sh1 billion in total….They had been given Sh300 million, then another Sh400 million… They were to be given another Sh300 million upon reaching Sengerema when they were detained at a road block,” President Magufuli said, commending the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in the way he handled the issue.
“The IGP stood firm on this and I commend you for that.…. You know me very well and I would simply conclude that you were also an accomplice in the deal if you had not handled it well but on this case, you have done a good job,” he said.
While carefully selecting his words for fear of interfering with the ongoing investigations, President Magufuli said the suspects were arrested on January 4 in Misungwi, Mwanza.
They were then brought to Mwanza City for grilling at the Mwanza Central Police Station. But the arresting officers did not take the suspects inside the station for booking, President Magufuli said.
“Instead the police officers remained with the suspects in their vehicle, trying tonegotiate the bribe. After they agreed on the amount the law enforcers left with the suspects in police vehicles. They passed via Kamanga Ferry on their way to Sengerema where they were to be given the remaining Sh300 million,” he said.
President Magufuli said during all that escorting period, he personally kept a close communication with leaders at district and regional level.
That was how we decided that they be arrested at a road block at Kamanga Ferry.
“When they reached the road block, the ‘escorting’ police officers lied that they were chasing the suspects. That was why I ordered that the eight be brought back to Mwanza City to face charges…They will be brought before a military court and later to a civilian court upon completion of the investigations,” he said.
The three suspects were reportedly arrested as they were trying to smuggle a total of 323.6 kilogrammes of gold out of the country.
The suspects, whose names could not be immediately established, include one resident of Mwanza and two Geita residents.