Tanzania: Six Battle Illegal Possession of 240m/ - Elephant Tusks

SIX people have appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam facing several economic charges, including unlawful possession of 24 pieces of Elephant tusks valued at 240m/-, being government trophies.

They were Abdul Soud, a resident of Tandika, Failuna Matunda, who resides at Sinza, Yusuph Rashid, a resident of Magomeni, Joseph Elio, who stays at Kilwa, Catherine Mayinda, who lives at Kilwa and Abdallah Mwinyo, a resident of Liwale District.

Other charges against them included leading organized crime, unlawful dealing in trophies, forgery, unlawful possession of firearm, unsafe custody of firearms, failure to register a sim card previously owned by another person, failure to report changes of ownership of sim card and money laundering.

They were not allowed to enter plea to the charges before Principal Resident Magistrate Richard Kabate, because the case has been filed under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act, however, they were remanded because the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anything, including the bail matter.

The case was adjourned to September 22, 2020 for mention, as investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution led by State Attorney Candit Nasua, have not been completed.

It was alleged that on diverse dates between November 2019 and August 2020 at various places in Lindi and Dar es Salaam regions, all accused persons managed a criminal racket of dealing in trophies by accepting 24 pieces of elephant tusks valued at 105,000 US dollars with intent to reap profit.

The court heard that on August 13, 2020 at Azimio area within Temeke District in Dar es Salaam, Soud, Failuna and Rashid were found in possession of the elephant tusks, the property of the government, without a permit from the Director of Wildlife.

It was alleged that on the same date and place in the city, all accused persons transported the trophies valued at 105,000 US dollars, which is equivalent to 240,054,948/-, the property of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The prosecution told the court further that at unknown date and place and with intent to defraud, Catherine made a false document, which is United Republic of Tanzania voting card reading in the name of Bhoke Mwita, purporting that it was genuinely issued by National Electoral Commission, though false.

It was alleged that on August 26, 2020 at Mtawanga Village in Liwale District, Lindi Region, Mwinyo was found in possession of one firearm, Riffle of make without permit or licence from the Registrar of Firearms.

Soud, being owner of the firearm, was charged with one count alone of failure to take all precautions as may be necessary to prevent such firearm from falling into the possession, control or custody of unauthorized person by hiring the same to one Mwinyo.

The court was also told that between May 1 and August 24, 2020 at Njinjo Village in Liwale District, Catherine used a sim card previously owned by Joseph Elio without reporting to the licensee, while Urio was charged with failure to report on the changes of possession of the sim card in question.

On money laundering, the prosecution charged all the accused persons in that between January 2008 and August 2020 in Lindi and Dar es Salaam regions, they allegedly possessed the 24 pieces of elephant tusks, while they knew at the time of receipt the same were proceeds of predicate offence of poaching.

Read the original article on Daily News.