A Malawian businessman of Asian origin on Wednesday escaped a 10 year jail term by paying K22.7 million fine imposed on him.
According to the Blantyre police publicist Inspector Augustus Nkhwazi, the convict has been identified as Sanjay Yashan aged 58.
The court heard that Yashan was on April 11, 2017 found US$14,031, 2,770 South African Rands and 100 British Pounds without permission of either the Minister of Finance or the Reserve Bank of Malawi.
The currency was found at his shop in Limbe and at his house located at Mapanga
During the search, fiscal police also found 11 pieces of processed Ivory weighing 14.8Kgs and valued at MK 22,792,000.00.
Yashan was arrested and charged with illegal possession of foreign currency contrary to Regulation 25 of the Exchange Control Regulations and illegal possession of listed species contrary to section 86 (1) of National Parks and Wildlife Act respectively.
When taken before the court on April 13, 2017, Yashan pleaded not guilty to both charges.
The state paraded five witnesses while Yashan called three defence witnesses and after trial, he was found guilty on both counts.
In mitigation, lawyer representing Yashan pleaded with the court to consider the age of the convict and that he suffers from hypertension and diabetes.
Passing the sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Kandulu slapped Yashan with K150,000 fine or in default 14 months imprisonment with hard labour for the first count.
For possession of Ivory, the judge ordered Yashan to pay K22,792,000 fine or in default to spend 10 years in prison with hard labour.
The court further ordered that the foreign currency be paid back to the convict upon payment of the two fines. Sanjay paid the fine and was freed.
He comes from Mapanga village, T/A Machinjiri in Blantyre.