In its operations, around 5,253 cases against poaching suspects were opened, with 914 cases finalised and 1,600 suspects sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 to 30 years.
Ludovick Nduhiye, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism made this observation at the opening of a seminar for investigation officers and prosecutors for anti-poaching cases from arious defence and security organs.
The four-day training session in Morogoro is aimed at assessing TNAP activities, with Nduhiye saying that during the period, NTAP seized trophies including 14,741 elephant tusks, 25 rhino horns, 10 live pangolins, 962 tortoises and 700 rare lizards.
“Following this achievement, poaching has gone down by 90 per cent, and the main indication for this drop is the increase in wildlife populations in the national wildlife reserves,” he declared.
The level of achievement is also indicated by the reduction of arrested poachers from 547 in 2016 to 326 in 2019 and 185 last year, he stated.
The Director of Wildlife, Dr Maurus Msuha for his part said that with the setting up of the task force and execution of its duties in the past five years, the number of elephants increased from 43,521 in 2015 to 60,000 in 2020. There was a sharp drop in the number of trophies seized in foreign countries between 2016 and 2020, he pointed out.
The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Camillus Wambura, said the training has come at the right time in the wake of current challenges facing investigators and prosecutors not adhering to their duties, leading to many cases failing in courts.
Paulo Kadushi, representing the Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) said investigations in poaching cases has been faced with challenges like weak cooperation among investigation organs.