Three in the dock over jumbo tusks (Tanzania)


Faustine Kapama, The Daily News

Date Published

Three people appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam charged with leading organized crimes and unlawful possession of elephant tusks, which are government trophies, valued at over 2.2bn/-.

They are Peter Kabi (45), a businessman, Leonidia Loi Kabi (46) a businesswoman and Simoni Malisa (46), a driver.

It is alleged that at the time of their arrest, they had pretended to be transporting a deceased in a coffin covered with the national flag. Before Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi, the accused persons denied the charges.

They were remanded until next Monday when they will be joined by another suspect, Charles Wainaina, who could not be brought to answer the charges. Senior State Attorney Paul Kadushi, for the prosecution, informed the court that investigations into the matter have been completed.

The prosecutor alleged that the accused persons committed the offence of leading organized crime on diverse locations on October 27, 2012 in Dar es Salaam and Iringa Regions.

Jointly and together, according to the prosecution, the accused persons willfully organized and managed a criminal racket of accepting, collecting and selling government trophies involving 210 elephant tusks weighing 450.6 kilogrammes and five pieces of elephant bones, all valued at 2,230,338,000/-.

The prosecution claimed that the accused persons engaged in dealing with such government trophies without a permit from the Director of Wildlife.

It is alleged further that on the same day at Kimara in Kinondoni District, within the City of Dar es Salaam, jointly and together, the accused persons were found in unlawful possession of the elephant tusks and elephant bones, property of the United Republic of Tanzania without permit.