Police in Machinga district have arrested 13 people for being found with 145 bags of charcoal.
Machinga police public relations officer Dave Sulumba has confirmed the arrest and identified some of the suspects as 42 year-old Fedson Masale and 26 year-old Alex Maulidi.
Sulumba said on 26 and 27th of August police in the district had a joint operation with the department of forest and game reserve officers in the protected areas surrounding the district with an aim of apprehending charcoal burners.
“On 26 and 27 August we had a joint operation with the department of forest and game reserve officers in Machinga so as to apprehend charcoal burners in the district and we had a successful operation,” said Sulumba.
Sulumba added that during the operation 13 people were arrested for being found in possession of 145 bags of charcoal worth K147,000. The police seized the charcoal and the bicycles the charcoal burners were using.
“During the operation we arrested 13 suspects, seized 145 bags of charcoal valued at K147,000 and 23 bicycles for the suspects were seized during the operation,” he said.
Meanwhile all the 13 suspects are expected to appear in court soon to answer charges of being found in possession of forest produce which is contrary to section 38 of the Forest Act.
Maulidi hails from Nyamuka village, Traditional Authority Malemia in Zomba whereas Masale hails from Mjale village in the area of Traditional Authority Chamba in the same district of Machinga.