The call was made yesterday by the deputy director of criminal investigation (DCI), Peter Kivuyo, who sounded an alarm after a swoop conducted in the country by Interpol on stolen vehicles showed that the number of such vehicles was rising.
He said since Interpol had a database that contained records of stolen cars from across the world, it would be easy to identify them if the car dealers collaborated with the department.
“It would be better if car importers consulted us (Interpol) on the details of the cars they intend to import because we have information about all cars that are stolen and reported to the police,” Mr Kivuyo.
He made the call in Dar es Salaam when briefing reporters regarding an operation conducted in the country by the local arm of Interpol, in collaboration with Interpol offices from five African countries.
The operation dubbed MODJADJI was intended to trace, identify and arrest all people who involve themselves in criminal offences. The offences include car theft, human trafficking, owning of illegal firearms and involvement in illegal drug trade.
Mr Kivuyo said 51 cars that were stolen from various parts of the world were seized during the exercise. He said records indicated that 22 of the 51 cars were stolen from Japan, eight cars from Malaysia and three from England.
It was also established that a single car was each stolen from Kenya, Germany, Mozambique, Australia and Tanzania, according to Kivuyo.
“Apart from the 51 cars, we are also holding ten other cars whose ownership documentation is faulty… For instance, we found out that what is written in the documents failed to match the cars’ records,” Mr Kivuyo said.
He mentioned areas which have the highest record of car theft in the country as Kinondoni, Ilala, Arusha and Kilimanjaro.
In the same operation, Mr Kivuyo said more than 40,000 kilograms of illegal drugs were seized and 38 people were arrested in connection with the offence. The narcotics seized included 243 grams of heroin, 39,958 kilograms of marijuana and 43 kilograms of khat.
He added that in the operation 11 illicit arms and more than 506 bullets were seized while 42 illegal immigrants, most of them in Kigoma, were arrested.