The Senior Resident Magistrate court sitting in Lilongwe has sentenced a Mozambican and Malawian citizen for being found in possession of a live pangolin at Nsundwe trading centre in the capital city.
The Mozambican has been identified as Habarawo Jyaime, 40, while the Malawian is Joseph Mankhokwe Banda, 35.
The state through prosecutor Levison Mangani informed the court that on 17th November, 2017 the convicts were found in possession of a live pangolin at Nsundwe trading centre which they were offering for sale at the price of MK370, 000.
Some well-wishers informed the police who together with Wildlife officers ambushed and arrested the two.
During interrogation, the Mozambican convict revealed that he took the pangolin from Mozambique and later connived with Mankhokwe who works as a maintenance officer at Mchinji Water department to sell the animal.
The two were thereafter charged with two counts; being found in possession of specimen of listed species which contradicts section 86(1) as read with section 110 B (b) of National Parks and Wildlife Amended Act 2017 and offering for sale specimen of listed species contrary to section 86(1) as read with section 110B (d) of National Parks and Wildlife Amended Act 2017.
During court proceedings, the two pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them.
Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Yona sentenced the two to five years imprisonment with hard labour for the first count and another four years for the second count. The two sentences are to run concurrently.
Habarawo Jyraime hails from Mozambique while Joseph Mankhokwe Banda comes from Bvumbwe village, Traditional Authority Kabudula in Lilongwe.
Meanwhile, another Mozambican citizen named Mikaeli Sandalakin, 32, and other two Malawians are on remand at Maula Prison after being found in possession of another live pangolin at Mitundu trading centre on Monday.
The three suspects are answering similar charges and will appear in court on 6th December, 2017.