The Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Friday May 6, 2022 convicted and sentenced James Staubi, 32, to 8 years imprisonment with hard labour for contravening section 15(1) of the trafficking in persons act.
During court proceedings Mangochi Police Station Prosecution Officer lnspector Amos Mwase told the court that, the convict is a well known businessman at Chiponde Trading Centre.
On January 28, 2022 the convict convinced the victims(couple) and 2 others to go and work in a Mozambican farm for a handsome pay.
Staubi transported the victims through unchartered to a Mozambican master only known as Sanudia at Lichinga. He then returned to Malawi at Chiponde after getting paid by his masters for trafficking the “workers”.
Prosecutor Mwase added that, surprisingly the couple was separated with their Malawian counterparts and worked for 2 months without being paid and when the wife fell ill she was denied access to medication by their employer.
They also claimed to be starved for days and later ran away after a tip from well-wishers that they might end up being killed.
The couple arrived at Chiponde end of March, 2022 and reported the incident at Chiponde Police Unit who arrested the suspect.
In mitigation, Staubi who had pleaded not guilty to the charge, asked for court’s leniency stating that he takes care of his family who would suffer if sent to prison.
In his submission Prosecutor Mwase said that the convict took advantage of financial constraints of the victims and also benefited from the organized crime.
Furthermore, Mwase observed that cases of trafficking were rampant especially along the boarders of Malawi where he said traffickers manipulate victims into dubious deals which pose a threat to their lives hence prayed for a stiffer sentence.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state and passed the sentence deter would be offenders.
Staubi hails from Kwiputi Village, Traditional Authority Jalasi in Mangochi.