South African national found with precious stones at KIA

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Police at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on Wednesday arrested a South African woman after she was found with suspected gemstones which she was attempting to export.

Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) police spokesperson Sapulain Chitonde Lee has confirmed the development to Malawi24.

Chitonde has identified the woman as Lerato Mohadi Montaung, 28, who works as Oxfam Malawi Youth Coordinator and is a holder of South African Passport Number 478224894.

Seized.

He said the woman was about to board South African Airways to Johannesburg with one checked-in bag and as the bag went through X-ray machine strange objects were detected forcing the officers operating the machine to call her for identification and physical search.

“When police searched the bag they found three (3) blocks of pink stones weighing 4.5 kgs,” said Chitonde.

“She was asked to produce supporting documents allowing her to export or possess those stones and she failed.”

Police arrested her and seized the yet to be identified stones. Lerato will appear in court to answer two charges of being found in possession of reserved minerals Sec.99 (1) (a) (¡) and attempting to export Sec.119 (2) of Mineral and Mines Act. Police have since sent the stones to department of mines for identification.

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