Police nabs culprit who defrauded 26 tourists

KILIMANJARO: THE Tanzania Police Force has successfully arrested a perpetrator who defrauded 26 charity trekkers, who came to the country to climb Africa’s rooftop, Mount Kilimanjaro.

The law enforcing organ asserted that the country is safe for tourists to come and enjoy their visit.

According to Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander (RPC) Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Simon Maigwa, the name of the culprit has been withheld for further investigation.

RPC Maigwa also confirmed that the suspect is a foreigner and the company operates from outside the country.

“The culprit who tricked the tourists has been apprehended by the police force and the suspect’s identity has been withheld for the purpose of investigation,” Kilimanjaro RPC said.

ACP Maigwa noted that the police force is working hard to make sure the tourists are always safe and enjoy their visit as the police ‘slogan of safe destination always attracts states.

Adding:” That’s why we have a police tourism and diplomatic office in Kilimanjaro Region, to ensure the safety of the tourists.”

He also implored the tourists who visit the country and sample various attraction destinations to continue being good ambassadors in promoting Tanzania.

For his part, the Founder and Chief Executive for Hope for Love Mr Chris Lomas, who was a defrauded trekkers commended the government of Tanzania and the police in general for quick response against their grievances.

“I want to say a huge thank you to you for fighting for us, for supporting us, every step of the way, together we are hopeful,” he pointed out.

Recently, it was reported that a group of charity trekkers were left stranded in Tanzania by trip organisers after they paid thousands of pounds.

According to information reported by the international media outlet BBC, the 26 trekkers paid Eryri-based Aspire Adventures up to 3,500 euros each, to scale Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.

However, as they arrived in the country (Tanzania), they received an email from Aspire Adventures saying, no services would be provided.

Most of the group members were raising money for Hope4, which helps Ukrainian refugees and orphans in Moldova.

Between them they had paid tens of thousands of pounds to Aspire Adventures, in Brynrefail, Gwynedd, to cover costs for accommodation, equipment and guides.

Jason Rawles, who owns Aspire Adventures, was supposed to be joining the group on the expedition on Friday morning (January 19th this year).

But he sent an email, instead, as they started to arrive in Tanzania, telling them his company was no longer able to provide the services and assistance they had paid for.

An automated email response from Jason Rawles and Aspire Adventures said the company is taking a break until March.

It goes on to say that it is the company’s “intention” to deliver any trips booked from April onwards, but adds: “All social media channels are deactivated in the meantime.”

Aspire Adventures was founded by Jason Rawles in 2013, and organises expeditions to locations including Tanzania, Nepal and Mont Blanc in France.

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