Two in custody for ivory possession

Lilongwe : Two people are in police custodyfor being found in possession of ivory pieces at Chigwirizano Township in Lilongwe.

Lilongwe Police Station Spokesperson, Inspector Kingsley Dandaula identified the suspects as Samson Banda 29, from M’manja village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Malili in Lilongwe and Wilson Mbewe 60, from Mbeya village, TA Nankumba in Mangochi.

He told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) Thursday that the police and wildlife officials were working on a tip from well wishers that the two were offering ivory for sale at Chigwirizano in Lilongwe.

Lilongwe Police together with Lilongwe wildlife officers followed the issue and successfully managed to arrest the two people with two pieces of ivory (set), Dandaula said.

Meanwhile, the suspects are expected to be charged for illegal possession of specimen of protected species contrary to the Wildlife Act and will appear before the Lilongwe Magistrate Court soon.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining recently said it has noted with grave concern about the recent seizures of both ivory and rhino horn in Asia (Thailand, China and Vietnam) between January and March 2017 originating from Malawi.

The Director of Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa expressed the concern through a Press Release in the NATION newspaper of April, 12,2017.

The general public is hereby informed that all the contraband in the three cases is not from Malawi, but probably from other countries. In this particular case, Malawi is simply being used as a conduit for the contraband. This trend of events is indeed worrisome as it continues to dent the good image of Malawi internationally, he said.

Kumchedwa informed members of the public that the department of parks and wildlife is seriously engaging all security institutions at Kamuzu International Airport to get to the bottom of the matter as investigations are at an advanced stage.

He reaffirmed Government’s position to fight illegal trafficking through the enhanced penalties in the amended National Parks and Wildlife Act No.11 of 2017.

The Director urged all Malawians of good standing to resist getting involved in illegal wildlife trafficking in any way such as aiding these transnational criminals or poachers instead report all the suspects to law enforcement agencies.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA