Indian hemp: 14 bags caught in minibus, man in possession of 142 bags fined

There was drama along Masauko Chipembere Highway on Friday when a driver and conductor abandoned a minibus they were in which had carried 14 bags of Indian hemp following a traffic police on-spot check.

Blantyre police publicist Lameck Thembachako told Nyasa Times they are currently hunting the two fugitives whose personal details are still not known.

The two were driving a Toyota Hiace minibus registration number NU7080 belonging to a C Chimkwita.

”Investigations are underway to apprehend the two. They fled after being stopped by the traffic officers on duty. Meanwhile the impounded Indian hemp is in our custody,” Thembachako said.

Meanwhile, the Balaka First Grade Magistrate Court has ordered a 30-year-old man to pay a fine of K195, 000 or serve 15 months imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for being found in possession of 142 bags of Indian hemp.

Cops inspecting bags of impounded cannabis

Police Prosecutor Sub Inspector Mercy Chande told the court that the suspect, Lovemore Yasin, was on 15th November, 2012 at Pengapenga in Balaka found in possession of 142 bags of Indian hemp which is contrary to regulation 19 (1) as read with Section 4 (a) of Dangerous Drug Act.

Chande said the suspect together with his two friends, who are still at large, were trafficking the drug in a truck registration number PE 720 from Salima heading to Blantyre.

The suspect pleaded guilty to the charge and in mitigation, he asked the court for leniency saying has a family to look after.

But the State, through prosecutor Chande asked the court to give the suspect a stiffer sentence arguing cases of such nature are on the increase.

In his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda considered the mitigating factors and ordered the offender to pay a fine of K195, 000 or in default, serve 15 months IHL. Meanwhile, the suspect has paid the fine.

Yasin comes from Chemusamagasa Village, Traditional Authority Machinjiri in Blantyre.

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