British High Commissioner Michael Nevin has called for the need to work collectively and regionally to prevent Malawi and its neighbours from being used as a source and transit point for criminal gangs.
Speaking during a news conference in Lilongwe where he announced a grant amounting to K310 million to Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, Nevin also described Monday’s burning of 781 pieces of ivory in Mzuzu by the Malawi Government as a step in the right direction.
He said: “I am delighted that Malawi has been awarded further funding by the British Government to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. This builds on previous British Government funding to support law enforcement work. This development will further help to tackle illegal wildlife trade.
“We think there are progressive efforts from Malawi to deal with this illegal trade and we believe this money will also help in addressing the current problem Malawi is facing on illegal trade.”
Nevin further said the burning is a sign that Malawi is not going to tolerate illegal trade or any criminal activities.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust executive director Jonathan Vaughan said they will intensify on a specialised wildlife crime investigation unit to prevent this illegal activities.
He also said there will be an introduction of sniffer dogs at Malawi airports to further strengthen security at airports.
Malawi burned 781 pieces of ivory as ordered by the High Court amid protest from Tanzania which accused Lilongwe of frustrating efforts to fight illegal ivory trade.
The ivory in question is believed to have been smuggled from Tanzania in 2013. n