By Florence Majani
What evidence there is supports claims that some of those involved in Tanzania's elephant massacre are prominent citizens.
The country's Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Khamis Kagasheki admitted to amaBhungane that politicians are involved in the ivory trade.
"This business involves rich people and politicians who have formed a very sophisticated network," Kagasheki said.
His deputy, Lazaro Nyalandu, echoed this, saying that big names in the Cabinet and the army, as well as officials in wildlife conservation, the Tanzanian Port Authority, the immigration department and the police, are implicated.
"It is a hard fight because the network collaborates as a team, sharing information, money and positions," Nyalandu said.
A report read by the main opposition party, Chadema, in Parliament in June pointed a finger at a member of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, wealthy businessperson Mohsin Abdallah Shein.
Shein was said to own 16 hunting blocks in game reserves. He allegedly uses these for poaching.
The hunting blocks are held by four companies - Royal Frontiers of Tanzania Limited, Game Frontiers of Tanzania Limited, Western Frontiers of Tanzania Limited and Northern Hunting and Enterprises Limited - which local media alleged belong either to him or his relatives.
This week, Shein described himself as "an innocent citizen of Tanzania" who is being targeted by business competitors. More....