Over 100 Tanzanians jailed in China for prostitution, drugs

Prostitution and trafficking of narcotic drugs has adversely affected good ties between China and Tanzania.

More than 100 Tanzanians are serving jail terms for trafficking of narcotic drugs, while eight girls were recently deported to Tanzania for engaging in prostitution.

The Tanzania's Ambassador to China, Mr Philip Marmo, made the revelation during a luncheon at his home here over week-end.

The meeting was organised for Tanzanians attending  The Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which took place on Thursday and Friday last week.

The luncheon was attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Mr Bernard Membe, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Gregory Teu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr John Haule.

Ambassador Marmo said Tanzania was proud of the good relationship it has with China since 1960s, when it opened a diplomatic office in April, 1964.

"Tanzanians trading in narcotic drugs are giving us a headache. One cannot get anywhere with narcotic drugs in this country, they are very careful on this and once caught you will not be excused, the highest sentence here is the death sentence," he explained.

Ambassador Marmo said China was regarding trade in narcotic drugs as a threat to national security, noting that it is difficult to negotiate for people caught trading in illicit drugs.

He said most of passports held by Tanzanians nabbed in such business did not show that they were coming directly from Dar es Salaam but from other cities and countries such as Istanbul, Ankara, Rio de Janeiro and Pakistan.

"Recently there has been an increase of young Tanzanians engaging in the trade, but surprisingly their passports do not show that they are coming from Dar es Salaam.

"But after interrogation, they explain that they are from Kinondoni, Magomeni Mapipa, Tanga, Zanzibar and Kigoma," he explained.The Ambassador said another issue tarnishing the country's good image is of young girls from Tanzania engaged in prostitution.

"There are eight girls, who have been given eight days to get ready to be deported to Tanzania for engaging in this trade. China does not encourage this trade at all," he stated.
Source: The Daily News,http://www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Mgaya Kingoba in Beijing

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