DARE-ES-SALAAM, The Tanzanian government has resorted to reviewing and verifying all vessels with Tanzanian registration, including carrying out due diligence on those applying for such registration to avert possible crimes by Tanzanian-flagged ships.

This is among swift measures the government has taken after it announced lat week that it was revoking licences for two ships flying the Tanzanian flag after they were recently seized for shipping illicit drugs and explosives, contrary to national and international laws.

Tanzania had registered 457 foreign vessels and 149 local ships as of December last year. All foreign ships were registered in Zanzibar whereas out of 149 local vessels, 88 were registered on the mainland and 61 in Zanzibar.

The MV Kaluba, with the registration number IMO 6828753 was impounded in the Dominican Republic on Dec 27, last year, for carrying about 1,600 kilogrammes of cocaine while another Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship, Andromeda, was seized in Greece with materials used in making explosives, reportedly destined for Libya.

Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that the country's maritime experts, in partnership with security and safety agents, would conduct verification of vessel registration with due diligence.

This will be a joint committee comprising representatives from both the Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar. The committee will verify information of all vessels registered in our country, look into their entire registrationprocedures and finally give the recommendations and advice to the government, the Vice-President told a media conference.

She explained that the government found it necessary to form a team after realising that the maritime businesses were tarnishing the image of the country. She said the government would also consider reviewing the country's laws guiding registration of vessels to give the the authorities more teeth.