12 cops suspended over drugs
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Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ernest Mangu

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THE 12 police officers who were named by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Paul Makonda, in the ongoing anti-narcotic drugs crackdown have been suspended from their jobs pending investigation.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ernest Mangu, told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that the Police Force would leave no stone unturned in its investigation on whoever would be implicated in drug dealings - beginning from peddlers to barons.

“Following the allegations put forward by the RC against the police officers over the illegal business and considering the government’s war against drug kingpins, it is an obligation of the law enforcers to take legal action against criminals even if they are police officers.

However, IGP Mangu neither denied or agreed on whether the suspects who appeared before the police on Friday are still in custody. He promised to give a statement after they are done with investigation.

Reports have it that they are being held by police in custody. The officers who were suspended are former Kinondonii Regional Police Commander (RPC) Christopher Fuime; Inspector Jackob Swai; D 3499 D/SGT Steven Ndasha; E8431 D/SGT Mohamed Haima and E5204 D/SGT Steven Shanga.

Others are E5860 D/CPL Dotto Mwandambo; E1090 D/CPL Tausen Mwambalangani; E9652 D/CPL Benatus Luhaza; D8278 D/CPL James Salala; E9503 D/CPL Noel Mwalukuta; WP 5103 D /C Gloria Massawe and F5885 D/C Fadhili Mazengo.

“As we continue carrying out investigation, we have decided to suspend all police officers who are suspected to have taken part in the drug racket as part of the disciplinary action and if we prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were involved in the illegal business, stern action will be instituted against them.

The move came following an anti-drugs war that was launched by Mr Makonda on Thursday after he gave a list of drug kingpins that included police officers, civilians and prominent artistes.

A number of suspects were summoned and grilled at the Central Police Station on Friday with the RC who is the regional chairman of the Defence and Security Committee ordering Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Simon Sirro, to arrest all suspects who were mentioned in the drugs scam.

Apart from the suspended police officers, Mr Makonda mentioned another suspect - one Omary Sanga - who he described as a notorious drug kingpin.

He said the suspect was roping in many youths and detailing them to transport narcotic drugs to China. “Seventy per cent of Tanzanian prisoners in China who were convicted for the illegal trade were being sent into that country by this man who according to our intelligence information is currently in Dubai.

"According to him, he was planning to travel for China but our security apparatus will make sure that he does not leave that country,’’ he noted.

He added that he would be arrested and deported immediately, as the region came in with renewed force to deal with the menace as well as cracking the whip to perpetrators ruthlessly.

The list includes prominent artistes Vanesa Mdee, Tunda Sabasita alias Video Queen, Wema Sepetu, Khaleed Mohamed (TID), Winfrida Josephat (Recho), Khery Sameer (Mr Blue), Hamidu Chambuso (Dogo Hamidu) and Rashid Makwiro (Chid Benz).

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