Mpanda — POLICE in Katavi region have arrested three new Tanzanian citizens alleged to be dealing in illicit ivory trade and illegal possession of national trophies valued at over 1.2m/-.
The three suspects are among Burundi refugees from Katumba Settlement Camp in Mlele district, Katavi region, who were recently granted Tanzanian citizenship by the government.
Katavi Region Police Commander, Mr Dhahiri Kidavashari, named the suspects as Frank Hamis (18), Steven Jonas (22) and Jackson Erasto (34), who were allegedly caught red-handed with three pieces of elephant tusks valued at over 1.2m/-.
According to the RPC, the trio were in the process of transporting the contraband by train to Tabora when they were apprehended.
Narrating the incident, Mr Kidavashari said the suspects were arrested in the evening on Friday when they were in a room rented by a Form Four student , Ernest John (19), from Katumba Secondary School in Mlele district.
According to the RPC, the student had close relationship with the suspects and had welcomed them to spend a night in his room.
The house belonged to Mr Alex Gado at Mnyasi area in Katumba village.”
The student then went to his friend in the neighbourhood where he spent the night. Preliminary investigations show that the suspects have a close relationship with the school boy,” added the RPC.
According to him, the arrests were made possible following a tip off from law-abiding citizens and that all of them would be arraigned in court soon after investigation into the case was over.