Lindi Regional Police Commander Mtatiro Kitinkwei told this reporter during the exercise to destroy the farms in Mangalanganda forest.
He mentioned those detained as Salum Mtopwa (70), Saidi Mohamedi Songea (43) Somoe Mohamedi (31), Seif Issa (20) and Mudhihili Omari (20), all of who are alleged to own four farms of marijuana with a total of seven acres.
RPC Kitinkwi said one of the suspects, Salum Mtopwa, apart from being involved in the cultivation of the illicit drug, also owned a firearm – a rifle.
The RPC said it was suspected that Mtopwa was using the firearm contrary to the conditions of the permit as he was found that he was making his own ammunition, instead of buying the same from legally authorized dealers.
“We are still conducting investigations on this firearm, whether it was legally acquired or not,” he added.
During the exercise to set fire to the farms, the police, with assistance from good citizens, impounded several bags of dried marijuana hidden in various areas of the forest.
RPC Kintinkwi said all the suspects will appear in court after investigations are completed.