Thursday, May 13, 2010

Poaching Hippos from the Mara River with a Shotgun?

POLICE have arrested two men in Wegero Village in Musoma Rural District, Mara Region, in possession of 32 hippopotamus teeth, the Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Robert Boaz said today.

The RPC named the suspects as Nickson Abdhala (55) and Juma Masanja (55). Both are residents of Wegero Village in the vicinity of Mara River on the Tanzanian side.

The suspects were also found in illegal possession of a shotgun and dozens of live bullets, according to the RPC. "It is likely that the suspects have been using the gun to kill hippos in Mara River," the regional police chief said.

Mara River is shared by Kenya and Tanzania and it traverses the world famous Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve on the Kenyan side.

The arrest follows information volunteered to police by a good citizen, he said. Wildlife experts working with the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources are expected to assess the value of the teeth, according to Mr Boaz.

"We don't know the value of these teeth but natural resources people will find out soon," he said. The suspects were arrested late last week. They have already been arraigned in a court of law in Musoma , the RPC said.

Meanwhile, two suspects have allegedly been caught with a bomb at Sirari border in Tarime District, police reported today. The Tarime Regional Special Police Zone Commander, Mr Constantine Masawe, named the suspects as Selemani Idd (35) and Ramadhani James (28).

Both are residents of Tarime District in Mara Region. The bomb was immediately examined by members of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces at Nyandoto Military Camp on the outskirts of Tarime town, according to the RPC.

"After we realized that it was a bomb we alerted TPDF officers at Nyandoto and they came to destroy it. It was made in 1913, according to their findings," the regional police chief told the 'Daily News.'

The suspects, he said, were till being questioned in connection with the bomb while under police custody in Tarime. A preliminary investigation indicates that they have been using the bomb to cone people out of their money, according to the RPC.

Meanwhile, a resident of Kwisarara Village in Tarime District, Nyagwaka Mwikwabe, has surrendered a homemade gun and live bullets to police in Tarime, the RPC said.
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