The Chief Resident Magistrate Court in Blantyre has convicted and sentenced 46 year old Precious Phiri to pay a two million Kwacha fine over medical drugs.

Phiri was arrested on March 29, 2021 by a team of police officers and officials from the Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority following a tip from the public.

A search carried out at his house uncovered loads of medical drugs without supporting documents.

When quizzed, the accused confessed to have imported the drugs from Mozambique but had no importation permit.

He was charged with two counts of (1) importation of any medicine or allied substance without import permit and (2) being found in possession of any medical product without a product licence. Both charges are in contravention with Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority Act number 9 of 2019.

He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Following his guilty plea, the court convicted him on May 6, 2021.

The accused was finally sentenced on June 8, 2021.

In his submission before sentence, Police prosecutor Sub-Inspector Justice  Manolo of Blantyre Police bemoaned the conduct of the accused saying it poses a danger to human life.

He further said the accused person had no medical background to handle medicine let alone administer same to people.

Manolo prayed for the court to pass stiffer punishment to the accused in order to deter would be offenders.

Passing the sentence, Chief Resident Magistrate Jean Rosemary Kayira concurred with the state and sentenced Phiri to pay a fine of one million Kwacha (K1,000,000.00) in default 12 moths imprisonment with hard labour for the first count and another one million Kwacha fine in default 12 moths imprisonment with hard labour for the second count.

The court further ordered that the medical drugs be forfeited to Malawi government and be handed over to Blantyre District Health Office (DHO).

Some of the medical drugs include several cartons of Artemether 20mg, 102 boxes of Strimox, 500 Amoxicillin capsules, 8 containers of Capillary tubes, cartons of determine HIV half test kits among others.

All valued at K 17, 930, 012.94 (Seventeen million, nine hundred thirty thousand and twelve Kwacha, ninety four Tambala).

Phiri hails from Kampala village traditional authority Somba in Blantyre.

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