The Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court sitting in Karonga and Chitipa districts has ordered the release of about 50 trucks impounded on grounds that they were carrying maize suspected to be smuggled across the borders.
Owners of the trucks, through lawyer Victor Gondwe, asked Mzuzu senior resident magistrate Brian Sambo to make an order that the maize and the vehicles be released to owners for proper storage.
The court has since granted the owners of the trucks and the maize their wish. The court said they should provide storage to the maize and the vehicles until the matter is concluded.
Chitipa Police Station spokesperson Gladwell Simwaka yesterday confirmed the court order to have the maize kept by the owners.
He said the owners had complained that the maize would rot considering that it was not being treated and was in the open where it would easily be damaged.
Simwaka said the vehicles and the maize have been handed over to the suspects.
Karonga Police spokesperson Enock Livason also said the maize in Karonga has been released to the owners following the court’s decision.
Gondwe confirmed making the application to have the vehicles and maize released to ensure that it does not rot.
Police in the two border districts impounded the trucks after their drivers failed to produce the paperwork to back the export of the staple grain in the face of an export ban on maize.
About 23 people who said they were owners of the impounded maize handed themselves over to police. n