Malawi 24

US Embassy comes to the defence of detained official

…says it wasn’t ivory

US Deputy Ambassador to Malawi was temporaliy stopped from leaving the country after he was found with what was thought to be ivory at Kamuzu International Airport, the embassy has confirmed.

Ambassador Palmer’s ‘ex-deputy’ was temporarily detained

In a response to Malawi24, the embassy said an ex official of the embassy was indeed detained at the airport after being found with an item that looked like ivory.

The mission also clarified that the arrested official is no longer working with them .

The embassy described the incident to have been caused by a ‘small’ item.

“Our former Deputy Chief of Mission’s personal luggage was inspected prior to his departure from Kamuzu International Airport on June 1. The Malawian authorities who conducted an initial routine inspection of the luggage detected a small item that warranted further inspection” the embassy told Malawi24.

The embassy said that following a second inspection, the deputy chief of mission was allowed to leave Malawi.

Meanwhile some quarters have suggested that the official was left scot free for being an American but he was indeed smuggling ivory.

President Peter Mutharika is leading a campaign to end ivory trade internationally as it leads tyo poaching of elephants.