Police in Mbeya have arrested two people for illegally holding 17 gas cylinders belonging to Tanzania Oxygen Ltd (TOL) in a recovery operation mounted in different parts of the country.
Mbeya police officers and TOL officials mounted the operation jointly in a bid to recover over 10,000 gas cylinders worth 3bn/- stolen by gas dealers in the country.
In an impromptu visit, the police and TOL officials found six TOL gas cylinders at a shop named Abiba Kingnick in Soweto area, Mbeya town.
One of the TOL officials, Zulfiqar Wall (Director of Business Development and Marketing), told reporters at the weekend that the police had held manager Sayuni Samuel and shop owner Saidi Timbulo.
“The police and TOL officials recovered 11 TOL gas cylinders from a road construction company called Sino Hydro,” said Wall.
He hailed the Mbeya police for their cooperation particularly Officer Commanding District SP Sylvester Ibrahim, who led the operation, and Mbeya Regional Police Commander Advocate Nyombi, who supported the entire gas cylinder exercise in the region.
RPC Nyombi and OCD Ibrahim have confirmed the recovery of 17 stolen TOL gas cylinders and the arrest of two people, saying investigation was still going on.
Several people have been arrested and a significant number of gas cylinders has been recovered during joint operations conducted by the police and TOL officials in different parts of the country.
In the crackdown, which commenced in Dar es Salaam on January this year, the police arrested gas dealers and employees of gas companies and outlets in Tanga, Mtwara and Dar es Salaam over illegal possession of TOL gas cylinders. During a recent operation in Tanga, the police held a woman gas dealer and recovered 44 TOL gas cylinders.
Tanga District Commanding Officer Shem Mndolwa confirmed that the woman gas dealer, Akida Zuberi Kiroboto, was found with 44 TOL gas cylinders.
On different occasions, the police also seized 26 TOL cylinders and other 31 cylinders, which were being possessed illegally by Dar es Salaam-based gas dealers - SGL Sas Gas Ltd and Chinese gas Company - Chang Ging International Investment, respectively.
Likewise, the police in Mtwara Urban District recovered 36 gas cylinders from a gas dealer during a joint operation.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam at the weekend, TOL Executive Daniel Warungu appealed to the gas dealers across the country to return their property, failure of which the culprits would face legal action.