Mining & Energy
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The Mozambican government will reward whistle-blowers who inform on gemstone smuggling, in an attempt to put a stop to the illicit mineral trade, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Max Tonela has said.
“Among the recent measures [in the fight against the smuggling of gems] is reward for whistle-blowers,” Tonela told reporters on the sidelines of his ministry’s coordinating council meeting, which ended Thursday in Gaza province, in the south of the country.
People who report cases of trafficking in gems could receive a monetary reward or be given part of the proceeds seized by the authorities.
“We are yet to close discussions on the amount and mechanisms of whistle-blowers rewards,” the minister said.
Inspection services have also been given more autonomy, and warehouses for the legal sale of gems created , Tonela added. The trading outlets will encourage miners to integrate into formal ore trading structures.
Mozambique is also committed to entering the Kimberley Process, an international diamond origin certification mechanism, which seeks to prevent the trade in so-called “blood diamonds” extracted in conflict zones.
Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy said smuggling’s cost to the state was “high”.
“These are high values [which the Mozambican state loses]. I cannot give you [specific figures], but it is known that smuggling takes place across borders and via airports,” the minister explained.
International cooperation, he added, is key to stopping gem smuggling, because they are small, high-value products.Source: Lusa
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