American national fined over hippo teeth

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A court sitting at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe has fined an American national for being found with hippo teeth.

The American was fined K200,00 for being found with the teeth and was also handed a six month suspended sentence for trying to take the teeth outside the country. Court

Police have identified the convict as Austin Michael Carrothers who was using American passport number 475780832 and was arrested on 17 August at the airport.

It is reported that he was arrested at around 12 PM as he was about to board a South African Airlines plane to go back to America after completing work as a missionary with Gospelink Ministries in Nkhotakota District.

During the hearing, Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Yona said this is a serious case considering the cost of the teeth.

After he was convicted on his own plea of guilty, the convict showed remorse and pleaded for court’s leniency due to the health situation of his pregnant wife who needs medical attention abroad.

Other mitigating factors included family commitments, being a first offender and the fact that he pleaded guilty.

The magistrate then ordered Carrothers to pay a fine of MK200,000 or in in default four months IHL for possessing the teeth which weigh 1Kg.

The American national was also sentenced to 12 months in prison for a second count of attempting to externalise teeth but the jail term was suspended for 6 months.

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