Jailed four years in fake money case

The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has jailed Nelson Nyirenda to four years imprisonment with hard labour after convicting him on three counts of using, illegal possession and production of counterfeits bank notes.

Police arrested Nyirenda on August 14, 2011 at Msongwe Township in Mzuzu after he knowingly used a fake MK500 note to buy mobile phone airtime worthy MK200.

Nyirenda was also found with fake MK4, 000 in MK500 notes.

On November 4, 2011, the court convicted Nyirenda on using Counterfeit Bank notes contrary to section 23 (2) (b) of the Reserve Bank of Malawi Act, Illegal possession of Counterfeit Bank notes and making Counterfeit Bank notes both contrary to section 374 (a) of the penal code.

The court sentenced Nyirenda to four years on each count but the sentences will run concurrently, which means Nyirenda will serve a total of fours only.

Reserve bank of Malawi Counsel Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda told the court that there were rampant cases of similar nature in Lilongwe and other areas.

In his judgement Magistrate Kondwani Banda agreed with both the prosecution and Counsel for the Reserve Bank of Malawi that the use of fake money has detrimental effect on the economy.

“They tend to affect commodity prices negatively,” he noted.

Banda quashed Nyirenda’s plea for leniency citing family obligations saying family obligations would have deterred him from committing the crime in the first place.

“Obviously as a court we will be failing in our duty if we ignore the interest of society for justice is more of public property. Further more if we grant a non custodial sentence, then society will wonder as to who is left to protect it,” he said.

Acquited

And in case of Shauzi Banda who was arrested at Tutlas Supermarket in Mzuzu in September2011 after she knowingly use two MK500 notes to buy a tray of eggs and a loaf of Bread, the court found that the State contradicted itself in presenting its evidence.

Banda was charged with two counts of using Counterfeit Bank notes contrary to section 23 (2) (b) of the Reserve Bank of Malawi Act, Illegal possession of Counterfeit Bank notes contrary to section 374 (a) of the penal code.

She denied all charges.

But Reserve Bank of Malawi Counsel Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda was not amused with acquittal.

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