Malawi Police at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Thursday foiled an attempt by a Chinese national to illegally externalize foreign exchange worth K4.2 million to China.
KIA Police spokesperson Sapulain Chitonde explained that the suspect, Liqiong Chen, was scheduled to travel to China on flight SA171 through South Africa and she was arrested at the Departures Lounge after a search of her hand luggage revealed that she was carrying something in the bag “worth closer look”.
He said: “When our officers suspected something fishy, they searched the bag thoroughly and found foreign currency hidden at the underside of the bag. The foreign currency comprised 4175 British pounds and 175 Euros, all totaling to about K4.2 million.
Chitonde said Liqiong failed to produce supporting documents for the foreign currency, hence the arrest.
Liqiong is 42 and comes from Fujian City in China, but lives in Mapale Location in Mzuzu, according to police.
The suspect is expected to appear before court soon to answer two counts of attempting to transfer foreign currency contrary to Section 11 of the Exchange Control Act of the Reserve Bank of Malawi and illegal possession of foreign currency contrary to Section 25 of the same Act.
Liqiong’s arrest came barely three days after another reported arrest of Lufeyo Chitukula on Monday evening at the same airport when he attempted to externalize to South Africa, 96,200 Rand (over K3.8million) hidden underneath his hand luggage.