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Sudan to tighten punishment for gold smugglers

Gold mine workers wait to get their raw gold weighed at a gold shop in the town of Al-Fahir in North Darfur on September 24, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
February 21, 2018 (KHARTOUM) The Sudanese Presidency on Wednesday has formed a committee to introduce strict measures against gold and money smuggling.

Sudan, which has 6,780 kilometres of borders with seven countries, suffers from the smuggling of gold and commodities.

On Wednesday, First Vice-President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Salih issued a decree to form a committee headed by the first aide to the attorney general Hisham Osman to consider tightening punishments against gold and money smuggling.

The committee would review the existing laws pertaining to the smuggling of minerals, money, goods and commodities.

According to Osman, the decree prescribes all ministries and government units to provide proposals to the committee within three days.

He pointed out that the committee includes representatives from the general prosecutor office, ministry of justice, ministry of minerals, ministry of commerce, department of customs and the legal administration at the national council of ministers.

Gold production is now Sudan’s main source of hard currency after the secession of South Sudan where are the two third of its oil reserves before 2011.

The Geological Research Authority of Sudan (GRAS) last December said the country gold production has reached 105 tons in 2017.

However, the Minister of Industry Musa Karama last month said Sudan has actually produced 250 tons of gold in 2017 alluding that about 145 tons have been smuggled.

The East African nation has witnessed a wave of protests following recent austerity measures and significant prices hike.

(ST)