TWO prominent tanzanite minerals dealers have escaped a two-year jail term by paying a sum of 163m/-as ordered by Arusha Resident Magistrate Court.
Mr Manyara Sanare Saireku (43)–the Managing Director of Muller Gems Stone and his fellow Mr Lanaito Loiko (51) were found guilt by Arusha Magistrate In-charge Ms Martha Mahumbuga, for doing tanzanite business without a license. Mr Saireku paid 20m/-and his fellow paid 143m/-.
Mr Saireku, alias Muller, a resident of Moita Bwawani ward in Monduli District in Arusha Region and his companion who is also a relative were ordered to spend 24 months behind bars or pay the fine in a judgment that was delivered in front of many Maasai community members.
The duo who were also accused and convicted of not providing necessary information regarding the said minerals to the Ministry of Minerals paid the fine and ultimately let free amid cheers from the many attendants.
Loiko is a resident of Nadosoito in Manyara District. Both of the accused entered plea of guilt and were judged accordingly.
The Public Prosecutor, Mr Innocent Njau told the Court that Muller was accused of being found by officers from the Ministry of Minerals, at his office–Kaloleni, Arusha, on March 14 this year, in possession of minerals without legal documents of owning the same.
Even after being given time, they failed to avail the said documents to the ministry officials.
Mr Njau informed the Court that on March 15th this year, in the same offices situated at National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Mr Muller failed to store the 45.3 kilograms and 19.3 carats of the blue and violet variety of the mineral zoisite in a safe.
They are worth 7,391 US dollars and failure to store them safely is against the Mining Act of 2018.
The second accused person was found in possession of tanzanite minerals weighing 269.5 kilograms, worth 89,130 US dollars and for doing business without license.
He was selling the same out of authorised market, at Uzunguni City Park in Arusha City, knowing that it was against the law.
Magistrate convicted Muller of two counts and ruled that each should serve a jail term of six months for every count or pay the fine.
Mr Loiko was convicted as well and told to serve a jail term of 12 months for each count or pay 143m/-.
Advocate for the accused persons, Mr Daudi Lairumbe asked the Court to be lenient to his clients because they entered a plea of guilty and did not bother the Court of its time and resources.
He said it was their first offence and did not do it on purpose.
The prosecutor, as well, said he had no memory of earlier wrongdoings of the duo.
The government put in place mineral trading hubs across the country in a bid to eliminate illegal exporting and crack down on tax evasion.