THE immigration department has arrested six illegal immigrants alongside two Tanzanians who are accused of criminal acts.
The immigration officials in Kilimanjaro Region arrested and detained the eight suspects on suspicions of illegal trafficking of persons.
Kilimanjaro Regional Immigration Officer (RIO), Tunu Ng'ondya, said the culprits were arrested in two different areas, subject to the ongoing operation in the region by the department, which she said is meant to curb illegal immigrants, especially those claiming to be on transit to other countries via Tanzania.
"In the first incident, four people were arrested in Kifaru area, Mwanga District, at a bus station while waiting for transport, and when interrogated, it was found that they were heading to Dar es Salaam," she said.
The RIO named the four as Godson Elifito and Roba Usmini, both from Ethiopia, who were accompanied by two Tanzanians, Aloyce John and Babuji Shirima, whom she said are accused of helping the Ethiopians to travel through Tanzania.
She said in the second incident, two Ethiopians, Tamrat Tadele and Misgahu Welansa, together with two Kenyans of Somali origin were arrested in Sango area, Moshi District after the vehicle they were traveling in from Holili, Rombo along Tanzanian-Kenyan border area was intercepted by security officials.
"When interrogated, the four said they were heading to South Africa via Arusha, and that they entered the country from Kenya," she added.
According to Ng'ondya, the six illegal immigrants were expected to be arraigned to court to answer charges of entering the country illegally, while the two Tanzanians are expected to be charged for illegal trafficking of human beings.
"Our department will continue to provide education to the citizens on the benefits of identifying and report unknown persons; this move is meant to ensure our country is safe from illegal immigrants," she said.
The RIO urged Tanzanians who are involved in illegal human trafficking to stop the illegal acts because they risk ending their lives in prison due to the fact that the law directs such culprits to face imprisonment of up to 20 years in jail, once convicted.
"May I take this opportunity to advise those involving themselves with illegal human trafficking to stop the illegal acts and find other legal means of getting money", she advised.