Malawi crime file: 5 held for Indian hemp, one jailed for child abduction

Police in Lilongwe arrested   five people and made a recovery of 45 bags of Indian hemp, locally known as ‘Chamba’, each weighing close to 90 kilograms.

The arrests were made by Nathenje Police Post officers, who also impounded the vehicle used by the suspects, a Mitsubishi Canter truck registration number DA 4215.

The suspects include Chipiliro Nakotcha, 32, Sandfall Makawa, 35, Simeon Mbewe, 47, George Nkhoma, 23 and Mphatso Mwanza, 32.

According to the authorities, the five were arrested at Mbuna Trading Centre along Lilongwe-Blantyre M1 road at a snap check point Police had mounted. They were on their way to Ntcheu from Chamama in Kasungu district.

“They will appear in court soon to answer a charge possessing Cannabis Sativa,” disclosed Lilongwe Police Public Relations Officer, Ramsey Mushani.

Nakotcha and Makawa hail from Chitukula and Ndolilo villages, respectively, both in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chitukula, Lilongwe. Mbewe is from Ntingo village T/A Chakhadza in Dowa while Nkhoma and Mwanza come from Kapyanga and Madziada villages both in T/A Wimbe in Kasungu district.

Patrols

Meanwhile, the Police spokesperson said the authorities have intensified day and night patrols in the capital city, with road blocks and sweeping operations during the festive season.

“We are on full alert to respond to any calls for assistance through full deployment of both uniformed and plain clothed Police officers.

“We want to assure city residents and the general public that Police will provide the necessary security during the festive season,” he said.

Abduction

In another development, Mapuyu Magistrates Court in Namitete, Lilongwe, has sentenced 19- year-old Charles Kamanga to seven years imprisonment for child abduction, contrary to section 137 sub-section 1 of the Penal Code.

The court heard that on November 26, 2012 the accused, who hails from Ngonabwanji village in Mchinji, travelled to Nkhoka village, the same district and abducted a 7-year-old boy (name withheld) with an intention of selling him in Lilongwe.

But when the news reached the village, villagers mobilized themselves and started following up and managed to apprehend the accused person and rescued the boy after he was found hiding with him in one of the graveyards away from the boy’s village.

Passing his sentence, Magistrate Eliya Phiri, said of late issues of child abduction were on the increase, hence it was the responsibility of the concerned to seriously look at the impact of the practice on human life and development.

Kamanga has since been committed to Maula Prison.

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