The Mulunguzi Magistrates Court in the country’s former capital Zomba have arrested a Chinese national and two Malawians for being found in possession of seventy-six national identity cards – belonging to Malawians – a thing that is against the country’s National Registration Act.
The three suspects who are Chinese national Zhen Wang and two Malawians Austin Ingelesi and Wikisi Uladi were arrested in June this year for collecting the national IDs from the locals at a fee as well as being in possession of multiple phone sim cards.
Nyasa Times understands that the trio were using the identity cards to purchase goods from China as different buyers in order to evade tax.
The three – in mitigation – asked the court for leniency on the basis that they were first offenders and that they were ignorant of the seriousness of the Registration Act.
But in his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Jones Masula emphasized that ignorance of the law was no defence, adding that the country had lost a lot in revenue as a result of the trio’s fraudulent acts.
Masula fined them K1 million each which, Nyasa Times has learnt, was paid by the three.
It is contrary to the law to use someone’s national ID let alone be in possession of it, according to the National Registration Bureau (NRB) – official issuers of the IDs.
Towards the June 23 fresh presidential election, Police in Zomba arrested a man on suspicion that he was recording details of information from people’s national IDs.
The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were alleged to have been behind the mischief, according to the then opposition now governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Opposition politicians claimed that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was involved in the malpractice as a way of rigging the Constitutional Court sanctioned fresh election.
Police, then, confirmed they were questioning the man following suspicions that he was recording people’s National Identity Card numbers.
National Registration Bureau spokesperson, Norman Fulatira, said keeping someone’s national ID is an offence, according to Section 15 (1) of the National Registration Act.
The Bureau advised the public to report to police or any nearest NRB office if anyone was found collecting people’s national IDs.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :