Police in Kilimanjaro region have arrested 24 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia at Himo Junction, Mnadani area, claiming to be refugees.
The Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commandeer, Mr Absalom Mwakyoma, said that all the illegal immigrants were arrested by patrolling police on Sunday at 11.00 pm.
The arrest of the Ethiopians followed a tip-off from law abiding civilians and that the illegal immigrants were waiting for a means of transport to ferry them to an unknown destination.
“The successful arrest follows a tip-off from the residents of the area, who spotted strangers and notified the police who were patrolling the area who managed to arrest them,” the RPC said.
The illegal immigrants, he said, had no legal documents and apparently had entered the country through illegal routes (panya routes) of the border between Tanzania and Kenya, in Taveta area.
According to Mr Mwakyoma, preliminary investigations show that the illegal immigrants were waiting for transport.
It is believed that Tanzanian conduits charge between 100 US dollars (about 170,000/-) and 200 (about 340,000/-) to facilitate the transfer to the next destination within the country (one region to another).
The RPC named the nabbed Ethiopians as Ahamad Yanasini (20), Belajonah Fikina (21), Hailu Waldesembet (24), Tesfaye Bekele (28), Tekie Tadese (24), Abella Gima (24), Eskenda Sirak (24), Nesfin Sirak (24), Mabratu Temsen (23), Mohamed Elvas (20), Kelif Naji (20) and Desalegn Mameru (20).
Others are Meiekot Eshetu (32), Yindikachim Setegine (24), Yusuph Ahamed (27), Ahmed Obsu (24), Mohamed Hssani (24), Bahiro Sanii (22), Farahn Ahamed (21), Alemudin Bongor (29), Tikesh Fikere (26), Abduifa Tahmmahmma (25) Mumop Ahmed (20) and Dqwit Nessussie (20).
Police sources say that the alleged conduits have their counterparts in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Europe who have been running the syndicate for many years now. Ethiopians and Somalis are fleeing from conflicts and poverty in their countries.
It is reported that while in South Africa, the immigrants would buy illegal documents to send them on their way to Europe and elsewhere to find greener pastures.
Source Tanzania Daily News