Mealie Meal shortage: Nchelenge police arrest two for smuggling

Mealie Meal shortage: Nchelenge police arrest two for smuggling

mealiPolice in Nchelenge district of Luapula Province have confiscated 285 bags of mealie meal and arrested two people in connection with smuggling activities.

Luapula Province Police Commissioner, Philimon Mutale, confirmed the development to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Nchelenge.

Mr Mutale said the police yesterday carried out two anti-smuggling operations after a tip-off from members of the public and seized the mealie meal contraband from the suspected smuglers.

He said in the first operation carried out between 08:30 hours and 09:30 hours police picked up Justine Mwansa, aged 35 years, a resident of Nkomba Village in Chief Kambwali’s area and a Congolese National identified as Treazour Kabulo Kamangu, aged 26.

Mr Mutale said the two men were found in possession of 191 by 25 kg bags of mealie meal which they concealed in one of the houses in Kashikishi.

The Police Commissioner said the bags of mealie meal were going to be smuggled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) via Lake Mweru.

Mr Mutale said the two men have since been jointly charged with Assembling for purposes of smuggling and were scheduled to appear in the Nchelenge Magistrates’ court this morning.

He said in another operation conducted between 18:00 hours and 19:00 hours, police recovered 94 by 25 kg bags of breakfast mealie meal which were found hidden in a store room situated at the Harbour of Lake Mweru.

Mr Mutale said the owner of the store room identified as Matanda Katongo was reported to be in Lusaka for business but his wife bolted after hearing of the police presence.

And Mr Mutale has paid tribute to Nchelenge residents for tipping off the police, which led to the recovery of the 285 bags of mealie meal meant for smuggling out of the country.

He said there is need for members of the public to work closely with the police in ensuring that perpetrators of illegal activities are brought to justice.

The Provincial Police Chief has since taken a swipe at individuals who are engaged in activities such as smuggling.

He said people smuggling goods like mealie meal are contributing to price increases as they create unnecessary shortages.

Mr Mutale has since vowed that Police in Luapula Province will not rest until the practice of smuggling is brought to an end.

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