Lusaka Agreement Task Force Officer awarded for combating illegal ivory trade

The United Republic of Tanzania Home Affairs Minister, Hon. Shamsi Vuai Nahodha awarded Mr. Theotimos Nestory Rwegasira, a Lusaka Agreement Task Force Field Officer who was part of a team that conducted investigations into the seizure of 1,504.2 kilograms of elephant ivory in Hong Kong during September 2010 that originated from the port of Zanzibar and which had been misdeclared as dried “anchovies”.

The Field Officer and other members of the team were all awarded for commitment, integrity and contribution in combating illegal ivory trade and for declining to receive a cash bribe of Tanzanian shillings 17 million ( USD  12,000) offered by a king pin (a Chinese national) of illegal ivory trafficking to Hong Kong.  During that mission, four suspects were arrested and jointly charged in a Dar es Salaam law court for committing an economic crime.

The officers were awarded  certificates and cash rewards of Tanzanian Shillings  1,700,000 ( USD 1,200) each during a special ceremony organized by the Tanzania Police Force in Dar es Salaam on 29th December, 2010 in recognition of  outstanding performance by civilians, police and other stakeholders who contributed significantly in maintaining peace and  stability in the country for the past five years.

The Director of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force takes this opportunity to heartily congratulate Mr. Rwegasira on this achievement. The Task Force also congratulates other members of the investigation team which included Tanzania Wildlife Division, and Tanzania Police.  He urges all its officers, the National Bureaus and other law enforcement agencies to continue working with such dedication in discharging their duties.  The Director encourages other Lusaka Agreement member states to emulate this gesture by the Tanzanian Government.

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