Police in Dar es Salaam are holding 17 suspected criminals, including four women and four school children linked to illegal military drills.
Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Simon Sirro, told reporters in the city yesterday that the four women and school children were found hiding in a house believed to be a training camp at Kilongani-Vikindu area in Coast Region. He declined to reveal the names of the suspects on investigation grounds.
“The arrest was facilitated by Shabani Maleck, a father to one of the four children who disappeared from their Kitunda residence in Ilala municipality since last June,” said Commander Sirro.
The suspects were found in a house belonging to one Suleiman, with the women admitting to have received the children from their parents and guardians who took them out of Kitunda Primary School.
They further admitted that the kids were attending Madrasat class neighbouring the camp as well as receiving training on the use of guns and fighting techniques.
The trainees were also groomed to hate the police and engage themselves in crimes, including robbery. Mr Maleck said he has gotten one child but four others are still missing, confirming that the children were reported abducted by his estranged wife, Salma Mohamed, whom he had divorced since last February.
“We are still investigating the matter to find out the parents and guardians of these children ... we are still interrogating these women to know their employer who assigned them to take care of the children in the camping house,” said Mr Sirro.
Five other suspects were arrested over the weekend at Toangoma area in Kigamboni over alleged involvement in robbery at various areas in the city.The suspected bandits were arrested after breaking into a house and robbing Toangomabased Patrick Samari of a pistol with registration number A731441 and 12 rounds of ammunitions, 10m/- cash, two laptops, mobile phones and four sets of flat screen television.
“The suspects were also found in possession of a Toyota TI car with registration numbers T533 DEQ believed to have been used in robbery incidents,” said Commander Sirro, adding that the suspects were still being interrogated before arraigning them.
In another development, Commander Sirro said the law enforcers have apprehended five suspected car thieves, including a Roman Catholic Church Priest in Sumbawanga, Demestrious Apolinary, who was found in possession of the stolen vehicle.
He named the four suspects as Aman Dickson (23), Exaud Martin (40), Rashid Haruna (28) and Mzee Nassibu (41). They are suspected to have stolen a Scania Lorry with registration numbers T511AWB, property of Nelson Daniel and Mitsubish Canter with number T814DEF that belongs to Hosea Kapula.
“Priest Apolinary has been found possessing a Toyota Land Cruiser with registration numbers T 616 DCH, the property of Joseph Kayawaya ... the vehicle was reported stolen in Dar es Salaam and sold in Arusha through forged details,” said Mr Sirro, noting that the priest remains in police hands for further investigations on the car theft.