Two Villagers Get Two Decades in Prison for Smuggling Two Ivories
The Babati District Magistrate has just thrown two villagers in the slammer after they were both found guilty of possessing two pieces of elephant tusks and attempting to smuggle the trophies out of the region.
The two residents of Endagire Village will now serve twenty years in prison for the offence committed late last year 2022.
The Resident Magistrate, Victor Kimario, sent the two accused behind bars because the government trophies found in their possession could have been obtained through poaching.
Identified as John Lulu, aged 42 and Zebedayo Safari aged 34, both being residents of Endagire Village of Babati, in Manyara Region the convicts were reportedly arrested while attempting to smuggle the pieces of ivories from Manyara.
The duo was arrested in October 23, 2022 at the Burukeli hamlet in Babati District as they were organizing transport to ship the illegal consignments away.
Apparently, the two pieces of ivory, according to the resident magistrate, Kimario, were worth more than 35 Million/- local currency.
It was further pointed out in court that the monetary value of the two trophies was equivalent to the total worth of an adult elephant.
Shortly before the judgement was issued, State Attorney, Rusticus Mahundi, assisted by Advocate Abood Komanya on the prosecution side, told the court that the two accused had no previous records of criminal offences.
However, according to Mahundi, cases involving poaching and smuggling of wildlife or their artefacts were sensitive issues.
Wildlife conservation is being treated seriously in Tanzania because the sector plays an important role in tourism, an industry which greatly contributes to the national economy.
In reference to that, the State Attorney appealed to the court that it should issue proper punishment to the offenders in order to serve as a lesson to others with similar motives and avert such cases in future.