The Mwanza Third Grade Magistrate Court, on Monday convicted and fined Robert Baibulo, Esther Chitsulo, Mustapher John Kabichi and Zelina Ibrahim for offences of illegal possession of foreign currency, attempting to illegally transfer foreign currency away from Malawi and illegal dealing in foreign currency.
The four are aged 32, 32, 31 and 31, respectively.
Baibulo was arrested on July 6, 2022 at Mwanza border when he was found in possession of 120 Metical’s, 660 South African Rands and 38 US Dollars without permit.
The other three were arrested on July 21, 2022 at the same border and they too were in possession of different amounts of South African Rands without permits. Chitsulo had 1400 South African Rands, Mustapher John Kabichi had 1300 South African Rands while Zelina Ibrahim had 2000 South African Rands.
Public Relations Officer for Mwanza Police Station, Edwin Kaunda, told Nyasa Times the four appeared before Mwanza Third Grade Magistrate Court on 27th July, 2022 and pleaded guilty.
“They pleaded guilty to all charges levelled against them. Prosecutor Superintendent Damiano Kaputa asked the court to give the four stiffer penalties to deter would be offenders,” explained Kaunda.
Passing the sentence on Monday, 29th August, 2022, Magistrate Chakuma ordered Baibulo to pay K80, 000.00 for illegal possession of foreign currency and K20, 000.00 for illegal dealing in foreign currency.
Esther Chitsulo was ordered to pay K60, 000.00 and K20, 000.00, Mustapher John Kabichi K85, 000.00 and K25, 000.00 while Zelina Ibrahim was ordered to pay K70, 000.00 and K25, 000.00.
The court further ordered that all the currencies that were found with the four people be forfeited to Malawi government.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Police Service is reminding the general public that dealing in foreign currency remains an offence under the laws of Malawi.