Illegal traders are taking advantage of Malawiâ€™s porous borders to smuggle the countryâ€™s timber to Zambia.
According to Malawi News Agency (Mana) findings, timber has become a major good to be smuggled using Mchinji districtâ€™s porous borders.
Some residents in the district said they have seen people smuggling timber for a long time and wondered why the police are only acting now.
â€œWe have seen people using some peculiar routes to smuggle the timber. They do not use the road that passes through the police, but instead use the Mkanda road and connect to other routes,â€ said a resident of the district.
â€œI can say it is good now that the police are trying to apprehend these people but my question is why now?â€ queried another resident.
Over the past week, police in Mchinji have impounded five trucks believed to contain goods such as timber destined for Zambia and the suspects are yet to be charged by the Mchinji First grade Magistrateâ€™s Court.
According to Mchinji Police officer in charge Lexa Chalera, the trucks carried goods worth about K24 million.
She said two trucks were carrying rice and groundnuts where as three were carrying timber.
Chalera said they impounded the trucks following a tip-off from the public.
â€œWe would like people to follow right procedures whenever exporting goods. Smuggling is not the answer. We know that we have porous borders in the country and we are asking people in district to report to police any suspicious activities,â€ she said.
Malawiâ€™s borders have been known to be porous for some time.â€”Mana