Two arrested for possessing pangolin

Police in Mchinji are keeping in custody two men for being found with a live pangolin.

This is according to Mchinji police publicist Inspector Kaitano Lubrino who identified the two as Marko Bauti, 42, and Moses Joseph Banda  aged 30 who were arrested on Sunday.

Lubrino said the two were nabbed by police officers who were acting on a tip-off from well-wishers at Kapanira Village in the area of Senior Chief Mlonyeni in the district.

He said the suspects were intercepted during the time they were searching for a market to sell the protected listed species as a team of Police officers from Headquarters, posed as potential buyers, approached the two before Mchinji Police officers arrested them.

The two have so far been charged with illegal possession of specimen of listed species and dealing in government trophy and they are expected to appear before court soon to answer the charges.

The offence attracts a maximum penalty of MK15 million and 30 years imprisonment with hard labour if found guilty.

Meanwhile, the animal has been handed over to the department of parks, wildlife and game reserve to relocate it to a habitable protected area.

Pangolins are poached for both meat and their keratin scales that are used for medicinal purposes and are becoming critically endangered.

Marko Bauti 42, hails from Mbezi Village, Senior Chief Mlonyeni in Mchinji while Moses Joseph Banda comes from Chiputu Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Kalolo in Lilongwe.

The development comes weeks after Police in Blantyre, Limbe arrested a Zimbabwean national and two Malawians who were found with three live pangolins.

The three who were identified as Trust Muzavazi 39 the Zimbabwean, Lewis Elias, 30 and Patrick Manja, 38 were cornered earlier this month following a tip off from the general public.

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