Tanzanian Police, on Monday, said they have seized 160 firearms and arrested 68 suspected poachers in the last two months in a forest reserve in the country’s southern region of Ruvuma.
The firearms and suspected poachers were respectively seized and arrested in special crackdowns, jointly conducted by the Police and an anti-poaching unit of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) in Liparamba forest reserve, said Simon Maigwa, the Ruvuma regional police commander.
Maigwa told a news conference that the seized firearms included 149 muzzleloaders, eight shotguns and three rifles.
He added that the suspected poachers were charged in courts.
“Investigations by the Police and TAWA officials revealed that the firearms were used to kill elephants in the forest reserve,’’ said Maigwa.
Kenneth Sanga, head of TAWA’s anti-poaching unit for Ruvuma region, said most of the suspected poachers were arrested following information given to authorities by members of the public residing close to the forest reserve.