Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Wednesday four people to five years imprisonment each over Indian Hemp and ordered that the Toyota Sienta they used to transport the illegal drug should be given to government.

The four are Jafali Phiri, 34, Jussab Masha aged 21, Andrew Banda, 21, and Petro Davie aged 24.

The court heard through the Station Prosecution Officer, lnspector Amos Mwase, that Mangochi Police detectives were tipped by members of the community that the convicts were transporting the illicit drug from Nkhotakota to Balaka via Mangochi.

Following the tip, the four were intercepted on September 8 at Maloya village along Chilipa-Balaka road in a white Toyota Sienta registration number NN7778.

Mwase added that, Police found 24 bags of 50kgs each of Indian hemp loaded in the motor vehicle without permit hence arrested the convicts and also impounded the motor vehicle.

Appearing in court, all accused persons pleaded guilty to the charge.

In mitigation, the convicts asked for leniency, saying that they are breadwinners to their families but prosecutor Mwase reminded the court that a lot of youth are facing mental problems due to the illicit drug and government is wasting a lot of money for their treatment hence prayed for a stiffer sentence.

Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state.

He therefore sentenced each of them to 5-years imprisonment with hard labour.

Michongwe has also ordered the forfeiture of all bags and Toyota Sienta to Malawi government.

Jafali Phiri, 34 and Jussab Masha, 21, hail from Balaka while Andrew Banda, 21, hails from Salima and Petro Davie aged 24 comes from Dedza.

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