DAR ES SALAAM, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs, Kangi Lugola, on Tuesday warned the masterminds behind the influx of illegal immigrants into the east African nation, saying their days were numbered.
"The days of people who engage in bringing illegal immigrants in the country are numbered," said Lugola during a meeting with members of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, security and defense.
The minister directed the Department of Immigration to work closely with the police force in unearthing the masterminds of the human trafficking.
He was speaking shortly after the committee had inspected the construction of the headquarters of the Immigration Department in the capital Dodoma.
"Both the institutions should work together in ensuring that the masterminds behind this illegal business are arrested and brought to book," said Lugola.
In January this year, Lugola initiated another crackdown on illegal immigrants, targeting borders with countries in the Great Lakes region.
The minister ordered immigration officials to conduct house-to-house searches in Kagera and Kigoma regions, which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The operation was expected to be completed in time for local government elections in the targeted regions, which were scheduled for July, Lugola said in his directive to Commissioner General of Immigration Anna Makakala.
The operation also involved a fresh verification of national identity cards issued to residents of those regions over the past few years.