Minister suspends officer in Sh20m fish smuggling scam

10Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
Minister suspends officer in Sh20m fish smuggling scam

MINISTER for Livestock and Fisheries Luhaga Mpina has suspended Ayoub Ngoma, an officer in the patrol department in Kagera region, following the impounding of a Sh20.8m consignment of Nile perch which was being smuggled to Burundi.

MINISTER for Livestock and Fisheries Luhaga Mpina

The consignment was seized at Murusagamba village in Ngara district, Kagera region, as regional fisheries officer Efraz Mkama vowed to deal with his subordinates who helped the suspect to transport the fish illegally.

Mpina said the decision to suspend the officer was reached following information that owners of the consignment had been involved in illegal fishing of Nile perch.

“Some of the seized Nile perch fish had the size of 85cm while others were 50cm, which is against the Fisheries Act of 2003.

The transporter also lacked proper documentation to transport fish products, according to the minister.

Among other issues, they did not pay loyalties to the government and had no licence to conduct and sale fish in and outside the country.

The minister warned government officers to stop aiding illegal fishermen and involving themselves in corrupt acts which caused loss to the government.

“As long as I am minister in this ministry, illegal fishing will not be tolerated in the country,” he said.

The minister said the fifth phase government under President John Magufuli will ensure that the country’s natural resources in lakes, rivers and the sea are used for the benefit of the country at large instead of a few corrupt officials.

The minister hailed the chairman of the Defence  and Security Committee in Ngara district, Lt-Col Michael Mtenjele, who is also the district commissioner, for his support in nabbing the culprits.

While in the district, the minister was also briefed about various agricultural products worth Sh142.2mn which were seized on their way to neighbouring Uganda.

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