Alert residents of Mchezi Township in the outskirts of Lilongwe City on Monday detained a truck with subsidised fertiliser.
Police have since arrested a Mitundu-based businessperson Hassan Boti who allegedly wanted to buy the fertiliser meant for the poor.
Kanengo Police spokesperson sub-Inspector Alfred Chinthere said residents called the police after protesting the ferrying of subsidy fertiliser, which led to the arrest of three people suspected to have been part of the deal.
Boti (36) was arrested alongside a clerk at Mchezi Admarc Market identified by police as Fredrick Kankodo (41) and a local resident, Stonard Kalivini (40), who was keeping 10 of the 67 bags allegedly meant for Boti.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The residents were wondering how on a holiday such quantities were moving out of the area. They alerted each other and protested against going out of the vehicle. We were tipped off and we came in and arrested them,” said Chinthere in an interview on Tuesday.
He said the three have been charged with obtaining goods by false pretences. Chinthere said investigations are underway to determine the extent of a suspected syndicate.
Most farmers have this year complained about unavailability of the subsidised fertiliser which costs K500 per 50kg bag in designated markets.