Dar es Salaam. The government has revoked licences of two marine vessels flying Tanzanian flag after they were seized for shipping illicit drugs and explosives contrary to national and international laws.
The two ships were seized towards end of last year and early this year in the Dominican Republic and Greece respectively.
This was said by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan during a press conference held at State House in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, January, 18.
Ms Hassan said the ships were registered by Zanzibar Marine Authority (ZMA). She named the ships as Kaluba, which was seized in the Dominican Republic on November 27, 2017 with 1,600 kilogrammes of illicit drugs and Andromeda, which was seized in Greece on January 6.
Ms Hassan added that despite revoking the licences, President John Magufuli has directed authorities to take appropriate legal measures against those, who were involved in registering the ships.
“We’ve revoked the licences and ordered the owner of the ships to lower the Tanzanian flag. We will also take action against those, who registered the ships,” said Ms Hassan.
She added, “When they were registered they signed declaration forms that the marine vessels would never be involved in illicit drug trade, ship weapons or be used for human trafficking. So, the fact that they have been seized for these very reasons, it means the owners have violated the laws.”
Ms Hassan said she held talks with authorities from the Revolution Government of Zanzibar before reaching the decision. According to her the two governments have decided to form a committee that will review registration of all ships that fly the Tanzanian flag.