Two Zambian Nationals have been arrested by Malawi Police in Mchinji after they were found in possession of 16.5 kilograms of Ivory worth K13.4 million.
Malawi24 has confirmed the issue in a telephone interview with Mchinji police spokesperson Kaitano Lubrino.
Lubrino told Malawi24 that the suspects are John Phiri (38) and Julius Daka (32) who were arrested at Kaombe Police checkpoint along Mchinji–Mwami border on April 16 2018.
“The two were nabbed following a police joint operation that involved the officials from Parks and Wildlife departments from Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. Phiri and Daka were arrested after they had already entered Malawi through unchartered routes.
“These Zambian traffickers were being witchhunted by the joint team after it had received a tip-off that the two were proceeding to Malawi from Zambia seeking possible markets before they were apprehended in Malawi,” Lubrino told Malawi24.
According to Lubrino, a total of eight pieces, all weighing about 16.5 kilograms have been recovered from the immigrants.
Department of Malawi National Parks and Wildlife, after conducting an analysis, confirmed that the items are ivory and they are valued at MK13.4 million.
Phiri and Daka who hails from Chipata and Katete districts respectively will appear before Mchinji Magistrate Court soon to answer the charge of illegal entry into Malawi.
They will also answer charges of being found in possession of specimen of protected species contrary to section 86 (1) and dealing in government trophies contrary to Section 91(1) of Parks and Wildlife Act of 2017.