Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers and Raiply Malawi officials have possessed a 10-ton truck loaded with logs believed to have been stolen from Viphya Plantation.

Northern Region Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya confirmed the arrest of Donald Mwenitanga in the plantation by MDF soldiers and Raiply officials.

He said Mwenitanga entered the plantation illegally and failed to produce documents that necessitated his entry there.

“The suspect is in custody in Mzimba and we have also impounded his 10-ton truck, a Scania, registration KU4118 loaded with pine logs which were being driven out of the Chikangawa Forest.

 “It has been reported that the suspect approached the patrol team for a discussion to allow his vehicle to transport the logs from the forest to Mzuzu,” said Kalaya.

Raiply Malawi chief executive officer Krishna Das recently said the company spends a lot of money to plant and care for trees

He said there was need for stiffer punishments for people found stealing trees.

Efforts to restore the plantation are being hampered by encroachers who carelessly cut down trees and set fires that destroy the forest.

Mwenitanga is expected to answer a charge of being found in possession of forest products without a permit.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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