The Drugs Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) is interrogating two officials of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in connection with the alleged smuggling of ephedrine Precursor Chemicals.
In similar vein, four people were yesterday arraigned at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court charged with illegal possession of drugs.
DCEA, whose powers gained renewed momentum a week ago after President John Magufuli appointed its Commissioner General, Mr Rogers Sianga, insisted that it has launched a man hunt for two more officials who connived in the smuggling of the drug haul.
DCEA Commissioner of Operations, Mr Mihayo Msikhela, said at a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday that after Dr Magufuli’s appointment of the Commissioner General and two other commissioners of Operations and Intelligence respectively, the authority launched a countrywide operation to crack the whip on all criminals involved in narcotic drugs trade, as directed by the head of state.
He, however, fell short of disclosing the names of the TRA officials for fear of jeopardising the on- g o i n g investigation. “The crackdown on the narcotic drug dealers, which kicked off on February 13, has yielded positive results in many regions as we have managed to arrest many suspects,’’ said Mr Msikhela. According to the DCEA Commissioner of Operations, Simiyu Region had the widest farms of marijuana that were destroyed.
“In Simiyu Region we destroyed 40 hectares followed by Tarime/ Rorya which had 36 hectares of marijuana,’’ he insisted. In the operation which was done in collaboration with all regional police commanders (RPCs), Mr Msikhela said that the law enforcers seized heroin, marijuana and khat.
According to him, in the antidrugs crusade, no stone shall be left unturned regardless of the status and position of suspects. He asked all Tanzanians to volunteer information that shall result in the arrest of drug dealers and consumers.
In another development, four people appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam charged with unlawful possession of narcotic drugs. They are Shaban Ndokoi (28), an entertainer; Simon Esabius, alias Nasiss (36), who is a businessman; Justine Luseba (39), a resident of Kunduchi Mtongani and Hemed Rashid (45), who is a fisherman at Ferry in Kigamboni District. Two of the accused persons, Ndokoi and Esabius, pleaded guilty to the charges before Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi.
The magistrate ordered them to remain in remand until February 20 when the prosecution will present a memorandum of facts to the cases. In another court chamber presided over by Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba, the remaining two accused persons, Luseba and Rashid, denied the charges against them. They were remanded after failing to meet bail conditions. The magistrate had ordered each of the accused to secure two reliable sureties. Every surety, according to the magistrate, was to sign a bond of 10m/- .
The two cases will be mentioned on March 2, as investigations, the prosecution said, had not been completed. State Attorney Estazia Wilson, for the prosecution, told the court that on February 2, this year, at Mwananyamala A within Kinondoni District, Ndokoi was found in unlawful possession of Heroin Hydrochloride weighing 1.21 grams.
It is alleged that on the same day at Kunduchi Mtongani area in Kinondoni District in the city, Luseba was found in unlawful possession of Heroin Hydrochloride weighing 0.89 grams.
The prosecution told the court further that on the same day at Ferry Tandavamba area in Kigamboni District in Dar es Salaam, Rashid was found illegally possessing 0.21 grams of Heroin hydrochloride.
In addition, the prosecution alleged that on February 5, this year, at Kawe Makazi Mapya area in Kinondoni District, Esabius was found in unlawful possession of cannabis sativa (bhang) weighing 16.69 grams.