Malawi Police in the border district of Mchinji are keeping in custody two men for allegedly being found in possession of a live Pangolin.
The two identified as Marko Bauti, 42, and Moses Joseph Banda,30, were on December 21, 2019 arrested by Police Officers who were acted on a tip-off from well-wishers at Kapanira Village in the area of Senior Chief Mlonyeni in the district.
According to Mchinji Police Station Public Relations Officer, Inspector Kaitano Lubrino, the suspects were intercepted during the time they were searching for a market to sale the protected species.
He said a team of Police Officers from the National Police Headquarters operating on undercover, posed as potential buyers and approached the two before Mchinji Police Officers arrested them.
“The two have so far, been charged with illegal possession of specimen of listed species and dealing in government trophy and will appear before court soon to answer to the charges,” Lunrimo said.
The offence attracts a maximum penalty of K 15 million and 30 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL)when convicted.
Meanwhile, the animal has been handed over to the Department of Parks, Wildlife and Game Reserve to relocate it to a habitable protected area.
Bauti hails from Mbezi Village, Senior Chief Mlonyeni in Mchinji while Moses Joseph Banda comes from Chiputu Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Kalolo in Lilongwe.
Reports say Pangolins are poached for both meat and their keratin scales that are used for medicinal purposes and are becoming critically endangered.