Police have arrested 56-illegal immigrants while in transit in Same District, Kilimanjaro Region.
They are suspected to be from Ethiopia and were nabbed hidden in a ‘Fuso’ lorry in Jiungeni village, Ruvu ward following a tip-off to police.
The Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander (RPC), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Robert Boaz, said the good samaritans reported the incident around 12:00 midnight saying they had seen suspicious behaviour surrounding a cargo lorry.
The vehicle, registration number T. 118 AYU, was identified as the property belonging to a Moshi-based transport company, Elimo Trans Company Limited.
“We are re grateful with this information as it led to successful intervention… police arrested 56-illegal,” said the RPC.
The lorry, driver Daniel Mfinanga, a Tanzanian who lives in the Himo Town and his two counterparts has been arrested in connection with the incident.
The illegal immigrants, according to the RPC Boaz, were on transit to South Africa and had no legal documents and entered the country through ‘panya routes’ at the Taveta area bordering Tanzania and Kenya.
“The 56-illegal immigrants from Ethiopia were on transit from Kenya they have left their countries due to life hardships and not because of political instability so they don’t need asylum,” the RPC explained.
Kilimanjaro Region is one of Tanzania’s border regions and so it has a high propensity of Illegal Immigrants presence mostly from Ethiopia and Somalia.
“Police in Kilimanjaro Region have established the ‘task force’ which includes regional and district Immigration officers and other security officers to curb the problem…” the Kilimanjaro Police Chief explained.
It is believed that the Tanzanian conduits charge between 100 US dollars (about 110,000/-) and 200 (about 220,000/-) to facilitate the transfer to the next destination within the country (one region to another). From there another agent takes over.
Police sources say that the alleged conduits have their counterparts in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Europe who have been running the “business” for many years now.