The Kasungu senior resident magistrate court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced David Shumba to 14 years imprisonment and seven others to 4 years imprisonment over counterfeit currency.
The investigation conducted by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and police found the eight convicts with counterfeit K2 000 notes mounting to fake value of K392 000 and counterfeit 99,400 US dollars
The other seven convicts are identified as Filodi Goodson, Ibrahim Makina, Martha Makonde Nyirenda, Lameck Banda, Gerlad Banda, Alick Tchuma and Laston Msiska.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Superintendent Peter Njiragoma and two lawyers from the Reserve Bank of Malawi Zumbe Kumwenda and Peter Masiye.
Njiragoma told the court that the eight were arrested after a joint operation by Reserve Bank of Malawi investigators and police busted a syndicate which revealed that David Shumba was manufacturing counterfeit currencies after which he was using the other seven convicts as agents to be distributing the counterfeit notes.
In court, the eight pleaded not guilty to the charges of illegal possession forged banknotes contrary to section 366 of the penal code and having in possession of instruments for forgery contrary to section 374 (b) of the penal code.
The State paraded four witnesses and after looking at the overwhelming evidence presented in court by the state witnesses, the eight pleaded guilty and were convicted as charged.
In mitigation, the eight convicts pleaded with the court to exercise lenience on them saying they have families to take care of.
But the prosecution team objected to the mitigating factors given by the convicts saying their conduct had affected the economy of the country as some of the counterfeit currencies were already in circulation the time the syndicate was busted.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Biar Kamanga cautioned the conduct by the eight convicts saying if left scot free such offences can greatly have a negative impact on the economy of the country.
Kamanga then sentenced David Shumba to 14 years imprisonment as he was the one behind the manufacturing of the counterfeit banknotes while the other seven were slapped with four years jail terms.
Commenting on the sentence, Senior Investigations Officer at Reserve Bank of Malawi Emmanuel Malasa hailed the court for mating sentences befitting the convicts and registered his optimistic that the convictions will send a loud warning to other would be offenders.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :