The Dowa First Grade Magistrate Court has sentenced a 29-year-old man to five years in prison with hard labour (IHL) for trafficking 19 persons.
The court heard that the convict Nika Nthara trafficked 19 persons aged between 6 and 39 from Nalunga and Njati trading centres in Dowa.
He was arrested on 23rd August along the Dowa Dzaleka road by officers from Dowa police station.
The trafficked persons were destined to work as farm tenants in Kasungu West and Zambia.
Officers received a tip from a driver of Toyota Probox taxi operator who commutes between Dowa boma and Dowa turnoff that the convict had hired him to transport the people from Dowa to M1 road enroute to their destination.
Police therefore mounted a snap roadblock and intercepted both the vehicle and occupants.
The convict pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read out to him and the case was adjourned to 24th August, this year for sentencing.
Passing sentence, His Worship Dowa First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri sentenced Phiri to 60 months imprisonment with hard labour and ordered the police to repatriate the victims to their respective homes.
The convict Nika Nthara hails from Kanyama village in the area of Traditional Authority Wimbe in Kasungu district.