Tanzania airports regulator has denied allowing the smuggling of wildlife from a park in the northern region to Middle East countries.
It follows claims on social media that the wild animals were being trafficked on cargo planes from Loliondo, near the famous Serengeti National Park, to the United Arab Emirates.
The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) termed the allegations “completely false” and noting that the airport in Loliondo was not a designated entry or exit point.
There were claims that a plane carrying wildlife had been seen on 26 August, but TCAA disputed that saying the last flight to Loliondo was on 19 July and has a designated airport with ordinary cargo.
“The authority has a real-time monitoring system and all international flights enter and exit through designated entry/exit airports such as Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and Aman Abeid Karume International Airport (AAKIA),” it said in a statement.
It said the reports were aimed at soiling the image of the country and urged Tanzanians to ignore them.