Ugandan held for unlawful possession of govt stamps

POLICE in Kagera Region is investigating an incident where a Ugandan national (name withheld), was found in unlawful possession of three government stamps.

It is alleged that the suspect was using them to clear goods to cross the Mutukula border of Tanzania and Uganda, thus causing losses to the government. He is said to be pocketing millions of shillings in the process.

Kagera Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner (ACP) William Mwampaghale told reporters yesterday in a press briefing at his office that the suspect was nabbed on September 1, this year at the Mutukula border.

Elaborating, he said initial investigations revealed that at least 11 lorries with a huge consignment of goods had already been cleared to cross the Mutukula boarder to a neighbouring country after the suspect used the illegal stamps to clear the goods.

“The suspect, a Clearing and Forwarding Agent whose name is withheld for security purposes, was found in unlawful possession of the three government stamps including that of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Ministry for Agriculture and the Tanzania Atomic Energy (TAE). He will be arraigned in court after the investigations are completed,” he said.

Meanwhile, RPC Mwampaghale has appealed to people in possession of illegal firearms and ammunitions to utilize the recent amnesty announcement by the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Hamad Masauni to surrender them at the nearest government offices.

“The Subsidiary Legislation Notice No 537 dated August 26th, this year will be in force for two months. Any person who will surrender a firearm voluntarily within the prescribed period no action will be taken against him/her,” he said.

He explained that government offices include the Village Chairman, Ward Secretaries, District Councils and all police stations where people can surrender the illegal firearms voluntarily between 8a.m to 4 p.m.

Tanzanian law enforcement authorities recently launched a special campaign for citizens in possession of illegal firearms to surrender them to relevant authorities in two months’ time.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Jummanne Sagini launched the campaign in Dodoma, urging citizens with unauthorized firearms to surrender them or face punitive measures.

Sagini said the illegal firearms should be surrendered at police stations, offices of local government authorities and offices of village executive officers in September and October.

“Most of the illegally owned firearms are used in armed robberies and other crimes,” said the official.

He said people that will surrender firearms will not be prosecuted but those who will be found with illegal firearms after the two-month campaign will face the full force of the law.

Camillus Wambura, the Inspector General of Police IGP), on the other hand said all surrendered firearms will be publicly destroyed to create awareness that possession of illegal firearms is against the laws of the country.

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