Moshi. Two top officials with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism have been arrested after being implicated in the issuance of a permit for exporting 61 monkeys to Albania.
The officials are Dr Charles Mulokozi, assistant director of wildlife utilisation and Mr Nyangabo Musika, senior official for hunting and photograph tourism.
Dr Mulokozi was arrested while already serving a suspension because of his involvement in issuing the permit banned by the government. He was suspended last week by Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Prof Jumanne Maghembe.
Various sources hinted to The Citizen yesterday that Dr Mulokozi was arrested over the weekend and was ferried yesterday under tight security through Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
“As we speak, Dr Mulokozi is on the way to KIA under tight police security while Mr Nyangabo is already in the hands of police at KIA,” the reliable source hinted.
Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander Wilbroad Mutafungwa neither denied nor confirmed to report of the arrests, saying he would have the authority to speak on the matter when the officials enter his area of jurisdiction.
However, Prof Maghembe confirmed to The Citizen about the arrest of the officials, affirming that anyone involved in the matter must be arrested and taken to court.
“It is true Dr Mulokozi has been arrested and not only him, but also another official has been arrested at our office in Arusha. We are very serious about this issue,” Prof Maghembe stated.
The minister used that opportunity to affirm that the Dutch nationals arrested by police recently had no legal permits for doing the business of ferrying live animals outside the country as some people claimed.
The interception of the monkeys comes when the prime suspect, Kamran Ahmed, who exported 152 wild animals including four giraffes to Doha, Qatar through the airport, has not been arrested. Kamran, a Pakistan national, was sentenced to 30 years in jail on December 5, 2014 in absentia after he was convicted of smuggling the animals by a Qatar military plane.
The animals smuggled to Doha were caged and valued at $113,715, equivalent to Sh170.5 million and were airlifted through KIA on November 26, 2010.