Kenya on Friday announced a crackdown on illegal mineral shipment aimed at tax compliance and curbing capital flight at Mombasa port.
Cabinet Secretary for Mining Dan Kazungu urged exporters of minerals and freight handling companies to comply with the requirements of the Mining Act and existing customs regulations that require all exports and imports to be based on valid export permits issued by the ministry.
“Increased shipment of illegal minerals is costing the Kenyan government and indeed neighboring countries revenues meant to be generated through taxation and royalties,” Kazungu said at the port of Mombasa.
With the port of Mombasa being the gateway to East Africa and a major exit point for exports to the rest of the world, Kenya has been cited as a key channel for the smuggling of illegally mined minerals from Kenya and neighboring countries.
Besides Kenya, some of the minerals are sourced from countries such as Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Kazungu said some of the minerals being illegally shipped include gold, copper ore, gemstones such as rubies, tsavorites and diamonds.
The East African nation has over the past two years undertaken major reforms in the sector including the review of its mining fiscal regime to be in line with the new Mining Act 2016 and global best practice.
According to a recent United Nations Economic Commission for Africa report, Africa loses 50 billion U.S. dollars annually to illicit financial flows with the extractive sector accounting for 56.2 percent of the loss. Enditem