Malawi Police in southern region border district of Nsanje have arrested two Mozambican nationals for illegal possession of Pangolin which is a protected wildlife species.
The two, Paulino Felish Njanja and Malitinyu Arbeto, were nabbed Thursday night after a joint operation conducted by a Wildlife Crime Investigation Unit and the police.
The suspects were found selling the prohibited animal to some people in Nsanje and demanded K4 million for the commodity.
The police took the suspects to court where they pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing a protected wildlife species.
"We smuggled the Pangolin from our country Mozambique. We wanted to sale it so that we can use the money for other issues. In fact, we did not know international laws on protection of such species," said Arbeto before the court.
Prosecutor Sergeant Francis Nachidwe told the court the suspects were charged with three counts including illegal importation of protected wild species and illegal entry into the country.
"We apply to this court that the two be remanded pending further investigations on the case," Nachidwe asked the court.
The state further said the two violated Section 86, sub section 1 as read with Section 110 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act but also Section 98 as read with Section 111 of the same.
Second Magistrate George Chimombo accepted to remand the two to Nsanje Prison pending amendment of their charge as they would also be charged with illegal importation of the wild animal and illegal entry into the country without documents.
"The court remands the two to Nsanje Prison where they will stay for two weeks pending police investigations on the matter," ruled Second Magistrate Chimombo.
The case attracts a maximum penalty of 30 years. Both Njanja, 25, and Arberto, 26, hail from Khaya Village under Sofala Province in Mozambique.