Two Zambian nationals arrested in Malawi for illegal cross-boarder trade will have to spend their next eight and 10 years in jail respectively after the court found them guilty on two counts of being found with illicit drugs and illegal entry into Malawi.
The Zambian nationals were arrested with 20 bags of Indian hemp (Chamba) each weighing 90kgs at Khosolo area in Mzimba District in a police undercover operation, according to Nyasa Times of Malawi
Magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda of Mzimba Magistrate Court on Tuesday sentenced Felix Nyazika Phiri, 43, to eight years imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of seven bags of the illicit drug.
The court also sentenced 42-year-old John Zulu to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for possessing 13 bags of the illegal drug.
The Magistrate said he had meted out a stiffer punishment on the two in order to deter others from committing similar offences, according to Mzimba Police Station Spokesperson Gift Nyirongo.
The police publicist said Phiri hail from the area of Mphanda while Zulu is from the area of Nyamphande, both in Zambia’s Eastern Province of Lundazi.
Before effecting the arrests, police had been investigating the Zambians for their illicit cross-boarder trade after getting a tip from the public. And on the day of arrest, the suspects had hired a three tonner lorry to smuggle the drug but the vehicle developed a mechanical fault before packing the bags.
The police then deployed their officers using someone’s three tonner vehicle and offered it to the Zambians to hire which they unsuspectingly did. The police and suspected drug dealers drove together to where the 20 bags were hidden and that is where they got apprehended.
Khosolo area which is located in South West of Mzimba Boma is well known for Indian hemp farming.