Malawi Police Service arrests two Zambians for smuggling tobacco

Malawi: The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has arrested two Zambian citizens for allegedly smuggling 6100 kgs of tobacco from Malawi to Zambia. Along with them they have impounded two vehicles who were smuggling tobacco.

The National Police Spokesperson – Peter Kalaya has identified the two as Lingson Phiri aged 51 and Fredrick Lungu aged 45. Kalaya said that the police acted on a tip that the two Zambian nationals were illegally purchasing tobacco in the area of Chief Santhe in Kasungu.

The two vehicles confiscated by the Malawi Police are a 10-toner truck and a small vehicle which the police suspected that the Zambians were using to smuggle the tobacco.

Both culprits hail from Chipata in Zambia and are expected to appear in court soon for formal charges.

Malawi Police Service Spokesperson – Peter Kalaya
Malawi Police Service Spokesperson – Peter Kalaya

According to Kalaya the suspects were arrested on Wednesday, May 08, 2024 at Kavumbi Village. He reported that TA Santhe in Kasungu were using a 10-tonne truck registration number, DA 10700 and a Nissan Tiida with the registration number SA 7133.

Reportedly, they were found with 37 bales and 35 loose sacks of tobacco weighing 6155 kgs suspected to have been illegally purchased around TA Santhe in Kasungu.

Moreover, the two have been charged with purchasing tobacco without a licence which is a crime under the Tobacco Act.

Considering this, the service warns that it will not hesitate to arrest and bring to book any trader or farmer that are found in attempting to smuggle tobacco or any other crop out of Malawi.

The Malawi Police Service has further informed the farmers and the traders that it is enforcing the government-set farm-gate prices.

vehicle caught for smuggling tobacco
vehicle caught for smuggling tobacco

MPS has confirmed that the ones who will be found purchasing farm produce at the prices below the set prices will be arrested and prosecuted.

Such cases in the province have increased and the police is concerned about the residents living there and understand that there is a need to take strict action against it and there is also a need to curb this problem as soon as possible.