5 January 2013

Tanzania: Contractor in Trouble Over Lion's Teeth

Sumbawanga — POLICE in Mpanda District, Katavi Region are holding a Chinese national who is a civil engineer engaged in a local road construction project. He was found in illegal possession of government trophy which are three lion teeth valued at 7.3m/-.

Katavi Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Dhahiri Kidavashari identified the suspect as Xys Weze (29), saying he was arrested at Mpanda airport, a few minutes before he boarded a plane. He said on December 2, last year at around 12:30 pm at Mpanda airport the suspect, Weze was arrested just before embarking on a light aircraft, Euric Air destined for Mwanza City.

The RPC said Weze who is a civil engineer works with the Chinese contractor, China Railways Servant Group currently rehabilitating a section of Sitalike-Mpanda secondary road to the tarmac level in the district headquarters.The RPC informed the 'Daily News' that the suspect was found hiding three teeth of lion in his bag with the intention to ferry them to distant destinations.

"It was at Mpanda airport, shortly before the suspect boarded the plane that the police acted promptly to apprehend the suspect. It was during ordinary routine police inspection. Officials from the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) were informed and helped identify the contraband as genuine teeth of lion," RPC Kidavashari explained.According to RPC, the suspect was then arraigned to the court on January 3 at Mpanda District Court but later released on bail after meeting court bond conditions and investigations of the matter is going on.

Meanwhile, two unidentified persons have surrendered home-made firearms popularly known here as 'magobole" at Mishamo and Katumba refugee settlements.RPC Kidavashari said the home-made firearms were abandoned at two different locations and these are the door steps of the Local Functionary's Centre at Mishamo refugee settlement and the other left at the roadside near Katumba refugee settlement in the district.

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