About 36 people who were found cutting down the Mopan tree species in Lengwe National park on Thursday last week will again appear before on November 8 after the Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate court detained the bail and adjourned their case on November 4 this month.
Initially,the number of the arrested encroachers was 28 but it drastically increased to 36 of which 11 are Malawians, 23, Mozambicans and two Chinese nationals.
Chikwawa police on Thursday arrested 28 people who encroached Lengwe National Park to cut the mopan tree species for their personal business.
It is believed that the encroachers entered Lengwe National Park between Tuesday and Wednesday last week.
According to Chikwawa Police Station Public Relations Officer (PRO),Mark Munama,the encroachers used motor vehicles to ferry the trees.
Said Munama: “These people used six tractors, three bikes, 100 tonner vehichle and two land cruisers to ferry the mopan trees to the neigbhouring Mozambique.”
Police said game rangers at Lengwe arrested the encroachers on Wednesday night adding that some encroachers were reported to have escaped.
Munama added that all the suspects are being kept at Chikwawa police station as proceeding of the case is underway.
Among other things,Chikwawa District Forestry Officer,Mr Charles Kamwendo said such tree species are amongst the protected tree species and are said to have been on high demand which most people around the world need to use for various furniture and other things.
The arrest of the 28 suspects come at a time when recently Paramount Chief Lundu complained of carelessly cutting down of trees especially in areas around Lengwe National Park.