Authorities in Tanzania Nab Chameleon-Smuggling Gang

Three Tanzanians have been remanded over allegations of conniving with Czechoslovakians to smuggl 74 protected chameleons and six snakes valued at Tsh 102.3 million out of the country to Austria.

Tanzania’s Natural Resources and Tourism minister Damas Ndumbaro pointed this out in Iringa , saying the trio will appear in court to face charges related to the smuggling of protected animals, economic sabotage, and money laundering.

The Czech national is believed to be the leader of the gang smuggling the chameleons, smuggling gang.

Authorities say the police are now investigating how the chameleons were transported through the Julius Nyerere International Airport undetected.

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The exotic Chameleons are said to worth Tsh102.3 million in the the black market. Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen

Austrian authorities had in January intercepted a man at Vienna airport trying to smuggle seventy-four protected chameleons from Tanzania into the country.

A 56-year old man destined for Schoenbrunn animal zoo, had hidden the animals in socks and empty ice-cream boxes when he was apprehended at Customs control in Vienna. He had travelled from Tanzania through Ethiopia undetected.

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