Members of a police taskforce accepted corrupt payments from a prominent gold mining company, leaked emails have revealed.
A series of confidential emails obtained by a Canadian newspaper, The Globe & Mail reveal a web of payments made to individuals within Tanzania’s National Taskforce.
The payments were being made by Barrick’s subsidiary, Acacia Mining, which formerly operated three gold mines in Bulyanhulu, North Mara, and Buswagi.
According to the leaked emails, Acacia paid more than Tsh2.5 billion annually to government officers between 2008 and 2015.
The Canadian newspaper also noted that Acacia directors were worried about the company’s risk exposure.
Acacia directors had feared that the payments would expose their undue influence over Tanzanian public servants.
When a former Acacia Mining executive Asa Mwaipopo was contacted for comment, he declined, adding that he has no authority to comment on the matter.
“Now that I am no longer holding any position in the company, it will be unfair for me to comment on the matter,” Mwaipopo said.
He noted that the matter was in court and commenting on the same may be seen as interfering with the court process.
Members of the task force included intelligence agents, police, and military officials. It was responsible for monitoring and investigating Tanzania’s infrastructure.
However, the payments were stopped in November 2015, after it emerged that the payments were not reflected in the company’s annual reports.
Barrick has responded to the expose by The Globe and Mails article, explaining the circumstances under which the payments were made.
“Acacia or indeed any Barrick entity has never exercised control or direction over the NTF, the Tanzania police, or over any branch or agency of the Tanzania police,” it noted.
Barrick added that Acacia continuously monitored compliance with all applicable laws.