Police in Mchinji on Wednesday arrested a 26-year-old Zambian national for illegal importation of raw specimen of ivory.
The suspect, Nelson Goma, was arrested along Mkanda-Mchinji Road with nine pieces of ivory weighing about 27 kilogrammes (kg) wrapped in a sack.
The arrest comes barely two days after two Korean nationals were arrested for attempting to export game trophy through Kamuzu International Airport.
The game trophy is valued at about K2 million and it weighs 1.5 kg.
The two Koreans, identified as Hyun Ku Kim (60), and Lee Sang Yong (65), will answer two counts of illegal possession of game trophy and Illegal exportation of game trophy (ivory), according to police. The second suspect, Lee, will further be charged with dealing in a game trophy.
Confirming Goma’s arrest at Mchinji border, Mchinji Police Station spokesperson Kaitano Lubrino said police investigation also established that the suspect illegally entered Malawi using uncharted routes with the protected specimen.
He said police arrested the Zambian and recovered the trophy following a tip-off.
“He disclosed that he was in the country seeking possible markets,” said Lubrino.
According to Lubrino, following the arrest, the specimen was referred to the Department of Parks and Wildlife for examination where it was certified and confirmed to be ivory (Loxodonta Africana). The department valued the ivory at K40.5 million.
Goma is expected to appear before Mchinji Magistrate’s Court to answer charges of being found in possession of specimen of protected species, contrary to Section 86 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act and illegal, entry respectively. n