The Nkukula First Grade Magistrate in Lilongwe court has fined three Indians for illegal production and selling of spiritous liquor.
The Indians were ordered to pay a fine of K500, 000 each.
The three appeared before the court on Monday where they pleaded guilty to two counts which were levelled against them.
The Indians, identified as Patrick Patel (40), Ragesn Raju Kanumuri (31), and Vishwath Reddy (29) were charged with the offences of failure to comply with the provisions of Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) Act and selling of liquor spirits in plastic bottles, contrary to section 44(a) and 27(3) of the MBS Act.
The court heard through Prosecutor Sergeant Vasco Magwaya of Kanengo Police Station, that the three, who run JAISAI Investment a liquor production company which is located within Kanengo Industrial Area in Lilongwe, were arrested during the night of 9 September, 2017 following a joint operation involving the Malawi Police Service and MBS.
Sergeant Magwaya said MBS and the police conducted the operation after being tipped that illegal manufacture, distribution and selling of liquor packed in plastic bags was being done during the night.
The police alongside the bureau managed to confiscate 19, 460 litres of super strong spirit liquor which was packed in 973 cartons, each containing four (4) five-litre plastic bottles from the company.
After the three were found guilty, Magistrate Cecelia Onsewa sentenced them to pay a fine of K500, 000 each or in default to 3 years in prison.
In 2015, activists pushed for a complete ban of spirits which were being packaged in sachets after observing that the sachets were cheap and more accessible to school going children.
The ban did not address the problem as manufactures started selling the liquor in five litre bottles which were being decanted into small measures (aka Midori) and sold from grocery stores and roadside shacks.