Dodoma — THE government has expressed its determination to step up the fight against human trafficking which undermines safety and security of the nation.
Commissioner General of Immigration, Dr Anna Makakala expressed the government’s determination yesterday in Dodoma when she spoke to reporters, raising concern on the increasing wave of illegal immigrants.
According to Dr Makakala, cases of illegal immigrants are now being reported even in areas that have never been reported before, insisting that weight will now be thrown on individuals who assist traffickers in carrying out the illegal scheme.
“We want foreign nationals from across the globe to enter or visit Tanzania through official entry points and legal channels. The benefit is to help the authority prevent entry of individuals who can pose high-security risk to the country,” he told members of the press.
The department said between January and November this year, a total of 15,266 illegal immigrants, mostly from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia have been arrested for attempting to or for entering the country illegally.
About 45 Tanzanians have been arrested and charged in the court of laws according to the law, she said.
Dr Makakala said the department also apprehended 13 vehicles, two boats and 16 motorcycles that were used to carry the illegal immigrants.
“We have also obtained intelligence reports and we are confirming important details before we arrest several others for helping illegal immigrants into the country,” he said.
The immigration law criminalises human trafficking, and anyone found guilty is liable to up to 20 years in prison or a penalty of 20m/- or both.
She said the force has been working with other security organs and has so far collected sufficient evidence against dishonest Tanzanians who are making little money at the expense of national security.
“We are concerned that some illegal immigrants are involved in armed violence, and this poses a risk to them and their properties,” he said.
She thanked the office of the DPP and the judiciary for handling such cases as a matter of national security.
“But I should also express my gratitude to the general public who have been helping the force with details leading to the arrest of illegal immigrants and traffickers.”
The new areas that are currently witnessing cases of illegal immigrants include Mwanza and Bagamoyo.
The commissioner-general said the immigration department is firm and has resolved to ensure it fully enforces, prosecutes and prevents illegal immigrants and human traffickers in the country.