Charcoal smuggling vehicle given to government


The Karonga First Grade Magistrate Court has ordered forfeiture of a lorry to Malawi Government after the vehicle was seized for transporting charcoal without permit.

The vehicle registration number RU 4140  was impounded a few days ago in the process of transporting 132 bags of illegal Charcoal.

Meanwhile the driver and the Charcoal owner have been fined K40, 000 each or in default serve a 2-year jail term.

Authorities at the Department of Forestry have in recent months ramped up efforts to curb illegal charcoal business.

Recently, the Phalombe First Grade Magistrate Court (FGM) sentenced 32-year-old Charles Muwaya and Masauko Maideni (35) to 30 Months Imprisonment with Hard Labour for breaking forestry law.

The two were convicted on three counts of entering into a protected forest area, engaging in the production of charcoal and conveying weapons into protected forest area without permit and authority, contrary to sections 32(1), 68(3)(a) and 43(1) as read with section 71(1) of the Forestry Act.

In Kasungu, James Luhanga (25) of Sakachuma village, TA Chikulamayembe, Rumphi and Simon Banda (29) of Masimbe village, TA Santhe, Kasungu were earlier this month ordered to pay K200,000 and K500,000 respectively for contravening forestry law.

The two were convicted on two counts of being found in possession of charcoal without license and trafficking of forest produce without license.

In default Luhanga and Banda have been sentenced to serve a 3- and 4-year jail term respectively over the crime.