Kasungu Police Station has arrested four suspects who were found in possession of ivory.

According to Kasungu Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Harry Namwaza said they arrested the four, Nickson Misha, James Chagwira, Assan Phiri and Nickson Nthukwa in two different operations following a tip-off from members of the public and Parks and Wildlife officers.

“Misha and Chagwira were arrested at Bua after police got a tip that the two were offering ivory for sale. Police successfully followed the tip that led to the arrest of the suspects.

“They were found with two pieces of ivory weighing 17 kgs. The other two suspects were arrested at Dwangwa trading centre after a Parks and Wildlife assistant got a tip that the two were offering ivory for sale. Upon following the tip, the two suspects were found in possession of two pieces of ivory also weighing 17 kilogrammes which they were offering for sale at K60,000 per kilogram,” Namwaza said.

He further said the police found a firearm with five ammunitions and other offensive weapons, and elephant meat in the house of Nthukwa.

It is believed that the four suspects killed two elephants inside Kasungu National Park from which the ivory they illegally possessed were removed.

It seems Nthukwa is a master of the art since records indicate he was previously convicted and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour in 2012 on a similar offence which was suspended to three years.

According to Namwaza, the four will answer a series of charges including illegal possession of specimen of protected species, conveying weapons into the national park, dealing in government trophies, illegal entry into the national park among others, once the law enforcers conclude tgheir investigations.

Misha, 40 years comes from Chibweza village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Dzoole in Dowa, while Chagwira, 44 is from Nduwa village, T/A Chilowoko in Ntchisi.

The pair of Phiri and Nthukwa, both 48, come from Kanthungululu village in the area of T/A Chulu in Kasungu.

Government of Malawi with support from the British and US governments have launched vigorous campaigns to protect the country’s wildlife from poachers.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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