Iringa Regional Police Commander, Allan Bukumbi told reporters here that the suspects were arrested on Wednesday along the Iringa-Mbeya highway after they were abandoned in a truck with registration number T517 DJY owned by Deogratius Kimambo, a Kilimanjaro Region resident.
Bukumbi said the arrest of the suspected illegal immigrants was a continuation of various on-going operations in the region aimed at combating criminal incidents.
“In efforts to strengthen security and safety in our region, we’ve continued to conduct various patrols and anti-crime searches, the operations have been producing positive outcomes which include arresting of various criminals and properties,” he said, noting:
“On January 12, this year at around 4:45pm at Ugwachanya area in Mseke ward, Iringa municipality, while on patrol, the Police Force was able to seize a vehicle with registration number T517 DJY-Mitsubish Fuso which belongs to Deogratius Kimambo of Moshi in Kilimanjaro region being abandoned on the Iringa-Mbeya highway by an unidentified driver.”
He named some of the arrested Ethiopian nationals as Cosoin Nyele (20) and Tomes Kebere (21), along with other suspects who entered the country through Namanga border crossing.
RPC Bukumbi said the suspects were en-route to Mbeya and will be brought to court after investigation.
In another incident, on January 11, this year at around 3pm on the Iringa - Njombe highway in Changalawe area of Mafinga Town in Mufindi District, Iringa Region, police officers in collaboration with security officers at the Ruaha national park arrested two suspects transporting 17 elephant tusks, two whole teeth and a hippo tooth on a motorcycle.
The suspects were identified as Ezekiel Patrick (43) and George Ng’umbi (25), both farmers and residents of Kinyanambo in Mafinga town. They were transporting the government trophies on a motorcycle with registration number MC.171 CBO owned by Ng’umbi.
The police force also, on January 7, this year arrested Paul Kalinga (47), a farmer and resident of Igangindundu in Kiponzero ward with two elephant tusks.
In its patrol also in various areas of Watalisori, Ifuwa and Udekwa in Kilolo District, the Police Force caught various weapons, including three shotguns, three rifles and five gobole which were mostly used to implement illegal wildlife hunting.
The Police Force has also arrested a chronic thief of motorcycles in Iringa Municipal identified as Godson Kahemela whom after a search in his house was found with various theft items including a motorcycle with registration MC. 770 AJF, a 56- inch mattress in the country 56, a small ORYX gas cylinder, one Aboder subwoofer and various clothes.
Regional chief police commander said Kahemela injured three police officers before he was arrested.