Nkhotakota NBS robbers slapped with 10 years

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Nkhotakota First Grade Magistrate court has sentenced two robbers to 10 years in jail term.

The two armed robbers – Geoffrey Phiri, 38, and Welton Humba, 20 – were among five thieves who robbed Nkhotakota NBS of property worth K4.4 million on the night of March 2 this year.

In his remarks, Nkhotakota police criminal investigator in the case detective Baxter Mkumbwa said the convicts are among the notorious criminals in the country.

robbery“After their arrest investigations have revealed they are on the wanted list by many police stations. For instance, Dedza police wants them to answer similar bank robbery cases,” said Mkumbwa.

To accomplish their mission on the day of the robbery, the robbers tied two guards at the bank’s premises.

“Although they failed to steal cash, they went away with two HP computers, CCTV set, all valued at K4.4 million. After the mission, using the motor vehicle Vitz model registration CK 3369, they took the guards, masked them and dumped them at Kaphatenga in Salima about 100 kilometres away from Nkhotakota boma,” Nkhotakota Police spokesperson Williams Kaponda said.

Following police investigations on March 11, the convicts were arrested in Lilongwe as they were driving the same motor vehicle used while robbing in Nkhotakota. After search, they were found with clobbers, ropes, panga knives, hacksaw, and gas.

They were charged with an offence of robbery with violence contrary to section 301 (2) of the penal code.

Presenting facts in court, prosecutor MacRhino Lungu pleaded with the court to give a stiff punishment to the convicts.

“They have been terrorising but were too smart to be caught. Now that they have been caught and convicted I ask for a stiff punishment for others to learn from,” Lungu told the court.

In mitigation, Phiri asked for leniency from the court as he has kidney problem while Humba said he has several businesses which will fail if given custodial sentenced there is no one to look after them.

However, First Grade Magistrate Fred Juma Chilowetsa presiding on the case said the court doesn’t consider personal problems. Chilowetsa told the two to have thought about it before going ahead committing the offence

“You don’t just wake up and go to steal in the bank. You thought and altogether planned for it,” Chilowetsa said.

He further said armed robbery offence is serious in nature if committed by more than two people as it is stipulated in penal code section 301 (2) it is life imprisonment.

Chilowetsa therefore sentenced the two to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour each and forfeited the motor vehicle Vitz to the government as stipulated in section 317 of the penal code.

Phiri hails from Ntaja village in the area of traditional authority Kawinga in Machinga district while Humba is from Saiwa village, Makwangwala in Ntcheu district.

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