In October 2010, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force jointly with Tanzania National Bureau to the Lusaka Agreement and National Central Bureau INTERPOL-Dar es Salaam arrested a king pin (Chinese national) of illegal trafficking of 1.5 tonnes of African elephant ivory to Hong Kong from Zanzibar-Tanzania. In the same operation, a General Manager of a Clearing and Forwarding Company in Zanzibar that facilitated the shipment of the contraband and two other suspects were arrested in Zanzibar – Tanzania as part of a continuing investigation into the seizure that started in September, 2010.
The suspects were jointly charged at Kisutu Residents Magistrates Court in Dar es Salaam for committing an economic crime. Anyone found in possession of, dealing, transferring, or exporting any government trophy in contravention of the provisions of the Tanzanian Wildlife Conservation Act No 5 of 2009, the CITES Implementation Regulations and Economic and Organized Crime Control Act commits an offence and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine, to imprisonment or to both with variations depending on the count. The fines charged range from twice to 10 times the value of the trophy involved, while the imprisonment term range from 2 years to 20 years (minimum) and 5 years to 30 years (maximum).
These results illustrate the commitment of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to cooperative law enforcement in addressing challenges related to effective conservation of the African elephant. LATF appreciates with thanks all the collaborating agencies, individuals and development partners who have been supportive in various ways to the investigations and enforcement operations that led to this success and they are encouraged to continue doing so in similar undertakings of the organization.
Investigations team at work at Malindi Port , Zanzibar, Tanzania