Tanzania vows to dismantle poaching syndicates
Tanzania's newly appointed Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hamisi Kigwangalla said on Monday the east African nation's anti-poaching drive will now focus on the arrest of ringleaders and dismantling of poaching syndicates instead of seizure of ivory.
"The government will use intelligence to arrest poaching ringleaders," he said in the country's political capital, Dodoma.
He said the government is investigating a huge poaching syndicate.
Kigwangalla said a hardcore poacher was arrested in Meatu district in Shinyanga region on Sunday as he was planning to kill a rhino in the Setrengeti National Park.
"The poacher was arrested in possession of 356 rounds of ammunition, two magazines and two saws," the minister said.
In May, former Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Jumanne Maghembe said poaching was still haunting Tanzania, with more than 7,000 related arrests in 2016-2017.
Tanzania was once home to 110,000 elephants but poaching resulted in the loss of almost 90 percent of the population in the last 40 years.