The arrest of two Tanzanians in a Kenyan fake gold scandal reportedly involving the Dubai royal family raises concerns over the illegal multibillion dollar racket.
Indeed, there has been much publicity about the fake gold business, which is apparently on the rise in East Africa.
More than 40 gold scam suspects of different nationalities have been arrested in Nairobi alone in the past few months. And, involvement of Tanzanians in fake gold deals raises the red flag high, thereby calling upon the relevant authorities to devise effective measures to stamp out the illegal gold trade.
Tanzanians Manson Chogga Mtassi and Konie Kalist were implicated in a case involving 100 kilogrammes of fake gold nuggets.
The two were arrested in Nairobi last month alongside four Kenyans, a Congolese and a Nigerian as the authorities intensified the hunt for fake gold swindlers. Gold scamming in Kenya has reached alarming levels as unsuspecting foreign nationals are easily swindled large amounts of money by fraudsters.
The Kenyan scandal comes at a time when Tanzania is tightening control over its mining sector. We commend the government for spearheading the establishment of gold exchanges that will ensure that gold produced in Tanzania is sold right here in the country. Of course this will also go a long way into curbing smuggling it. In any case, we need a raft of measures which would ensure that the shady business ends once and for all.