THE Director of Tanzania Game Trackers, Michael Allard, and nine other suspects working for the hunting establishment have been arrested here for allegedly staying and working in the country without the necessary permits.
The establishment, abbreviated as TGT, is a hunting concession operating at Ngaramtoni ya Chini section of Arumeru District, Arusha Region, while Allard is said to be a French national, whose stay here has raised many questions.
The Arusha Regional Labour Officer, Mr Yusuph Nzugille, has confirmed the arrest of nine foreigners, naming some as Hendrikus Van der Goot from Netherlands, Cliff Durell Hunter, hailing from South Africa, Nana Grosse Woodley from Germany, Nicolas Care Theresa Hartmann from Germany.
It has been reported that the suspects had illegally forged relevant residential and working permits that enabled them to stay, live and conduct their daily operations in Tanzania since 2015. The Labour Department here has in recent days been combing the entire area, flushing out aliens.
Others who fell in the same trap include Priya Shah from the United Kingdom, Chinnadurai Vellaichamy from India and Wesley Khamasi Guyavi from Kenya.
Their illegal stay in Tanzania, according to officials here, has caused the country to lose millions. According to Mr Nzugille, his department was prompted to take action in line with new regulations that stipulate that all working permits should be issued by the Commission for Labour under the Ministry of Labour while the Immigration Department is left to deal with residential permits only. “We had initially arrested 13 suspects but after conducting investigations, four others were released.
The remaining nine needs to be investigated further,” said the senior labour official. Reports here have it that a certain official at the Immigration Office here must have assisted the suspects in acquiring permits believed to have been forged.
The advocate representing the accused, Mr Wilfred Mawalla, said his clients were innocent because they had no way of knowing that the documents were not genuine as they had been prepared by a government official.
The Deputy Commissioner for Immigration in Arusha Region, Mr Vitalis Mlay, said his office was aware of the situation but pointed out that a special task force has been fitted from the headquarters in Dar-salaam to investigate the case as well as the suspected Immigration officer alleged to have helped the nine foreigners acquire those documents.