Tanzania launches Multi-Agency Task Team to fight environmental and wildlife crime

Tanzania launches Multi-Agency Task Team to fight environmental and wildlife crime

Dar es Salaam, June 2015 - In an effort to find a lasting and effective solution to the escalating cases of environmental and wildlife crime taking place in Tanzania the Honourable Minister for Home Affairs, Mathias Meinrad Chikawe, has launched a Multi-Agency Task Team (MATT).

Aimed at coordinating efforts and resources, the Task Team will be led by the Tanzania Police Force and encompass Tanzania Forest Services, the Wildlife Division, Fisheries Division, Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services as well as seeking engagement with the criminal justice system.

Minister Chikawe stated that the aim of the MATT will be to ‘target the individuals and networks that control this illegal trade, bring them to justice and seize any assets obtained through their crimes.’

Per Erik Bergh, Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) Coordinator, speaking at the launch of this initiative commented that ‘Stop Illegal Fishing has been involved in raising awareness that the illegal fishing activities taking place in Tanzania are not opportunistic crimes, but form part of a much wider network of transnational organized crimes. We welcome the cross agency approach being adopted in Tanzania and look forward to being an active partner in addressing the destructive, illegal and criminal activities that take place in the fisheries sector.’