Court gives subsidized fertilisers’ smuggler bail

The Balaka Second Grade Magistrate Court has released on free bail a Balaka based businessman who was found with 42 bags of subsidized fertilizer without documents.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Hunter Masamba told the court Thursday that the suspect Joseph Walani 32, who is a businessman, was arrested after being found in possession of 42 bags of subsidized fertilizer without proper documents.

According to Hunter 22 of the bags were for NPK and 20 were for UREA fertilisers.

The suspect pleaded not guilty to the charge of being found in possession of property suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained which is contrary to section 329 of the Penal code.

Following his plea of not guilty, Second Grade Magistrate Maxwell Boaz released him on bail on conditions that he pays K10, 000.00 not cash and K500.00 cash for administration.

The case has been adjourned to 27th December, 2012 and has also ordered the Police to release the vehicle detained.

The suspect has since paid the K500.00 for administration.

Police arrested the suspect upon a tip from the public that he had been smuggling subsidized fertilizer to the neighbouring country Mozambique through Tsangano in Ntcheu district.

He was arrested after the police elected an ad hock road block and was transporting the subsidized fertilizer in a 3 Tonner Toyota Dyna lorry registration number BQ 5650.

Joseph Walani comes from Maliwata village, Sub Traditional Authority Sawali in Balaka district.

Bakala poice spokesperson Joseph Sauka says last year  Balaka police registered almost 7 cases to do with fertilizer subsidy and all the suspects were acquitted by the court.

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