Mbeya Regional Police Commander SACP Ulrich Matei said the suspects were importing the products through illegal border posts thus evading to pay required taxes and levies.
“On December 22, around 21hrs, police officers who were in their daily patrol duty caught two suspects Elia Mwakagile (30) and Furaha Mwakalengela (35) residents of Mbeya city transporting 24 batches of vitenge,” he said.
The suspects were caught at Ituta areas in Iyunga ward along Tanzania- Zambia highway (Tanzam) transporting the consignment in a Toyota Hiace car with registration number T.471 BJJ,” he added.
According to him, every batch had 50 pairs of vitenge which is equal to 1200 pairs for all the 24 batches.
Commander Matei said that the second incident also occurred on December 22, when the Police Force caught a woman indentified as Mariam Japeht (35) from Ilembo ward in Mbeya city having 42 pairs of vitenge which she also imported without paying required levies.
“The third suspect was caught at around 6.30am in Kyela and she had no documents to verify the legality of the cargo,” commander Matei further explained.
According to him, the suspect is a fabric product trader and may have been evading tax for many years.
He said that all the suspects have been surrendered to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for further measures.