Tanzania: Nine Arrested, 4.6 Billion/ – Trophies Seized in Police-Interpol Operation


Sophia Mwambe, Tanzania Daily News

Date Published

Following a successful joint operation, the police have seized more than 666 elephant tusks amounting to 4.6bn/- and arrested nine suspects, including two foreigners.

The two aliens, according to the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Mr Diwani Athumani, are from Guinea and Uganda. He did not, however, reveal their names for fear of jeopardising investigations.

The operation also led to the arrest of 43 illegal immigrants, 18 of who are Congolese, 22 Burundians, two Rwandans and one Kenyan. The operation, according to Mr Athumani, was conducted with Interpol offices in Harare, Zimbabwe (Southern Zone) and in Nairobi, Kenya (Eastern Zone).

Addressing a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Athumani said the police task force was formed to carry out a special operation dubbed ‘Usalama III’ that managed to seize the elephant tusks and arrest the suspects as they were planning to escape.

“The countrywide operation was conducted between June 26 and 30 and it involved other officials from various government institutions whereas 26 countries were engaged in a joint operation to crack down poaching and smuggling.

Apart from the elephant tusk suspects, the DCI said that during the same operation, 265 other suspects were nabbed and the trophies seized, which will be used as exhibits in court.

Mr Athumani further reported that law enforcers managed to seize various illicit drugs, including heroin (18 grammes), marijuana (398.6 kilogrammes), khat (30 kilogrammes) as well as 12 firearms and 104 rounds of ammunition.