In preparation of the relocation of the Diamond Trading Centre(DTC) to Gaborone, the Botswana Police Service(BPS) has set up a separate Diamond and Minerals Protection Unit operating at national level.
The new protection Unit started operating on the 1st of January this year.
This new development was announced by Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe this week in Francistown during the BPS Operations Division three day retreat.
“Already we have started receiving diamonds from Namibia and South Africa, as well as individuals and their families relocating to Gaborone,” said the Commissioner.In a sideline interview, the newly appointed Officer Commanding of the Diamond and Minerals Protection unit Senior Superintendent Letsweletse Tlhasang said, ”The main purpose is to incorporate and co-ordinate the whole unit in protecting minerals throughout the country.
At this moment we are at a transition stage, where we are carrying out all logistics to ensure the unit is fully operational within three months time.”
He further highlighted that this is the result of many years of planning by the Botswana Police Service behind the scenes.
“ It was necessary to separate the old diamond and narcotics unit into two separate entities mainly because of the DTC a multi billion industry moving into Botswana.Diamonds are the number one target, so as the police we need to protect the stakeholders and the product.So this unit will give that focused approach in terms of security.” said Senior Superintendent Tlhasang, who boasts 20 years of working extensively with Interpol.
Tlhasang also highlighted that part of his unit’s mandate was to see no infiltration of conflict diamonds in the country.