“Right now, the arrested poachers are being held at the Manyoni police station,” the minister said.
He said that suspects were also found with a military weapon like submachine gun and early reports indicate that the six had been on jumbo killing spree in the Rungwa and Kizigo, game reserves located in Manyoni.
“We have dispatched a team of rangers as well as police officers to comb the entire reserves because intelligence reports suspect that more culprits could still be in the forest and likely also hoarding more government trophies,” he said.
Nyalandu also noted that the search team will also be on the lookout for the carcasses of the killed elephants, since the impounded ivories were found to be freshly pulled from the animals in which they had previously belonged.
The development comes at the time when the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism was finalizing its quarterly report on poaching incidences in Tanzania for the first three months of this year. A report will be tabled in Arusha in the course of this week.
The Ministry will also launch the second phase of “National Anti-Poaching Machinery” (Operation Tokomeza Mark-II) in line with the country’s war against illegal wildlife hunting and ivory trading.