THREE QUARTERS OF POACHERS GRANTED BAIL BY TANZANIAN COURTS ABSCOND

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania's Director of Public Prosecution, Biswalo Mganga, has revealed that more than 75 per cent of people charged with poaching and illegal possession of animals as well as wildlife products in Tanzania abscond after being granted bail by the courts and many of them are foreigners who then flee the country.

He painted this disturbing picture when opening the Trans-Boundary Environmental Crime Experience-Sharing Workshop which was attended by security and government officials from Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania held here here recently.

Mganga said more than 75 per cent of suspects caught and charged with illegal hunting or smuggling trophies escaped after being granted bail by the courts of law, consequently compromising prospects for prosecution.

Once they escape, it gets even more difficult to trace them because many of them fly back to their respective countries, he out. The workshop was also told that the black market for illegal wildlife products being smuggled from East Africa was at the heart of global transactions worth about 42.4 trillion Tanzanian shillings (about 18.9 billion US dollars) annually.

In order to solve the issue of hanging cases in the courts, Tanzania has launched the Rapid Reference Guidelines (RGG) which will become effective from next year, to enable prosecutors, magistrates and judges to speed up prosecution related to illegal wildlife trading cases.

Delegates were told that live animals, trophies and other illegally acquired wildlife products from the East African sub-region were being trafficked across the globe every year with the value for such contraband rising every year.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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