The Tanzanian government said Sunday it had confiscated diamonds worth nearly $30m after accusing British company Petra Diamonds of having declared a lower value when trying to export the gems.
Speaking on government television channel TBC 1, finance minister Philip Mpango said the diamonds extracted from the Williamson Diamonds mine had been “nationalised”.
The mine is 75%t owned by Petra Diamonds, with the remaining stake held by the Tanzanian state.
The diamonds were seized on August 31 at the airport in Tanzania’s main city of Dar es Salaam as they were being shipped to Belgium.
According to Tanzanian authorities, the documents from Williamson Diamonds estimated the value of the shipment at $14.7m based on a lower declared weight, while in fact they were worth double the amount.
“The Williamson Diamonds company documents put the value of the diamonds at $14.7m (before cutting and polishing) while their real value is $29.5m,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Saturday.