Katavi impounds state trophies worth 532m/- (Tanzania)


Peti Siyame, Daily News

Date Published

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The war against poaching in Katavi Region has scored notable success following the arrest of 11 suspects who have been found in possession of government trophies valued at 5325m/-

The crackdown was conducted between December 24 and 30 last year. The seized government trophies included 67 elephant tusks weighing 155.5 Kgs valued at 532.5m/- (presumably from 34 live elephants).

The Katavi Regional Police Commander , Mr Dhahiri Kidavashari said the arrest of the suspects was made possible through concerted efforts made by the police anti- poaching unit and stakeholders.

The RPC said between December 24 , 2014 and January 12, last year four suspects were apprehended after being caught in possession of 47 tusks weighing 88.7 Kgs all valued at 306m/-.

According to Mr Kidavashari , on December 24, 2014 at around 6:00pm two suspects were nabbed in Mpanda Municipality when found in the process of transporting the trophies in a passenger bus christened Adeventure. The haul comprised 22 pieces of ivory weighing 46.3 Kgs valued at 157m/-.

The bus was heading for Kigoma Town from Mpanda. The RPC further alleged that on January 12 , 2015 at around 8:15 pm two suspects were arrested for, allegedly, being in possession of 25 pieces of ivory weighing 42 Kgs valued at 148.5 m/-.

According to the RPC the two suspects were caught red handed by two policemen who were escorting a passenger bus christened AM with registration number T 740 AQD heading for Mwanza City from Mpanda Town.

“The two suspects had three large bags in their possessions when alighting into the bus. They were arrested by the police officers who were escorting the bus ..” added the RPC .

On April 4, 2015, shortly before midnight, two suspects were caught with four pieces of ivory weighing 8.2 Kgs valued at 49.5m/-. They were in Salama Guest House, Majengo area in Mpanda Town.

Mr Kidavashari alleged that the pieces of ivory were stashed in a bag hidden under a bed in a room the suspects had rented at Salama Guest House.

In another development police found two people in possession of four pieces of ivory weighing 47.6 kilos valued at over 60m/-. These were arrested on November 11, 2015 .

Mr Kidavashari, told the ‘Daily News’ over the phone from Mpanda Town “the two suspects, all of whom were peasants, were arrested at around noon at Usevya village, in Mlele District,” said Mr Kivashari.

According to the RPC, the arrest of the suspects was made possible following the cooperation extended by villagers, ward and district leaders in Katavi region when mounting an extensive manhunt in various locations.

In another incident , three suspects were arrested for allegedly being in possession of government trophies valued at over 120m/- without having proper permits.

Mr Kidavashari told this paper that the three were arrested on December 29 , 2015 at around 22:00 pm at Airtel Street in Mpanda Municipality.

The RPC further said that the suspects were caught with 12 elephant tusks weighing 11 kgs valued at 120m/-. Narrating the incident , the RPC said that the suspects, apart from being caught with the government trophies, they also had weighing equipment, a hoe and a motorcycle with registration number T 552 CZE.

“On that material night, law abiding citizens alerted us over the presence of the suspects being in possession of the trophies.

Shortly later law enforcers who acted swiftly arrived at the scene and caught them red handed,” explained the RPC. According to Mr Kidavashari, the suspects will soon be arraigned in court after preliminary investigation into their case is over.