Joseph Lyimo 25 December 2011 [HR][/HR] The Babati District Resident Magistrate Victor Bigambo, has sent 15 Ethiopian illegal immigrants to jail for a total of 15 years. Each will serve one year. They had an option of Tsh.80,000 fine each after they were convicted on their own plea. They failed to raise cash for the fine and therefore whisked to prison. Passing the judgment, the magistrate said that this would serve as a deterrent to others entering the country without valid travel documents. Earlier, the Manyara Immigration Office prosecutor, Baraka Mtae, had told the court that the accused were arrested on November 26 this year at 9:00pm near a girls' school at Kibaya in Kiteto district. They were in the company of three Tanzanian nationals who police identified as Makasi Ally, Rashidi Kipande and Haruna Hussein, all residents of Arusha. The trio was also charged in the same court for human trafficking involving foreigners en-route to Malawi. They denied the charges. In mitigation, the 15 Ethiopians pleaded with the court for leniency citing that they had nothing on them to pay the fine with and begged to be set free.Mtae said that the Ethiopians were arrested in a Land Cruiser with registration numbers T284 AHY belonging to Haruna Hussein and driven by Makasy Ally who are jointly charged with the offence. The prosecution had called for a stern sentence in order to deter illegal immigrants especially from Ethiopia and Somalia from entering the country contrary to the law. The trafficking of humans case involving the Tanzanians was postponed until December 19 this year. The three accused were granted bail.