The Mchinji Senior Resident Magistrate Court has sentenced six men to six years imprisonment with hard labour for being found with Pangolin.
The six are Chifundo Moses, 23 , David Njanji aged 32, Chitenje Kwenda, 58, Moses Issa aged 35, Bicycle Banda aged 27 and Chisomo Banda aged 20.
The court heard through state prosecutor Eugenio Yotamu that on January 30 this year in the afternoon police received information about some suspicious men at Guillime trading centre.
Upon investigations, the police arrested two men who revealed that they were selling a live Pangolin and that they were with colleagues who were at Tembwe trading centre.
“Police had to follow up the matter and arrested the other four suspects and recovered the Pangolin which the suspects hid in a sack,” said Yotamu.
The state prosecutor further told the court that the other suspect who is at large had motivated his friends to sell the Pangolin at a price of K800,000.00.
The court further heard through Yotamu that another suspect who is at large had facilitated transportation of the Pangolin from Mozambique to Mchinji.
“It was heard in court that two of the six suspects are Malawians but staying in Mozambique where they trade in gold mining,” said Yotamu.
In his submission, Yotamu said the six deserved a stiff punishment saying the offence was organised and it endangered wildlife in the country.
He argued that wild animals attract tourists in the country and therefore need to be protected.
In mitigation, the suspects pleaded with the court to be lenient in passing sentence saying they were all family breadwinners.
However, Senior Resident Magistrate Shareen Chirwa concurred with the state and sentenced the six suspects to six years imprisonment with hard labour each to deter would be offenders.
Chifundo Moses, hails from Zanga Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabvwere in Mchinji, David Njanji hails from Nyanthembi village in T/A Tengani in Nsanje, Chitenje Kwenda from Chimatira village, T/A Kaomba in Kasungu, Moses Issa from Mikochi Village in T/A Makanjira in Mangochi, Bicycle Banda from Kaligweni Village, T/A Simphasi in Mchinji and Chisomo Banda from Msulo village, T/A Kaomba in Kasungu.