4 December 2018

Malawi: Police Arrest Agro-Dealer in Mchinji for Swindling Seed Company

Mchinji — Police in Mchinji are keeping in custody a 32 year old Agro-dealer in the district, Mathews Phiri for allegedly misappropriating money for Demeter Agricultural Limited and being found in possession of 61 Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) coupons bearing Chikwawa District serial numbers.

Mchinji Police Station Public Relations Officer, Inspector Kaitano Lubrino confirmed to Malawi News Agency on Monday that the man was arrested last week by Kamwendo Police Post after receiving a complaint from Area Manager for the company, Reuben Kapondera.

Lubrino said Demeter Agricultural Limited supplied Phiri with 2,500 packets of different seeds to sell to FISP farmers.

He said Phiri sold most of the coupons but did not remit the money to the company.

"Phiri's business secured a contract with the government to sell seeds to the beneficiaries of the 2018/2019 FISP program in Mchinji [hence Demeter Agricultural Limited supplied him with 2,500 packets of different seeds].

"From the whole consignment he received, he managed to sell 1979 packets of the seeds since the company had transferred part of the seeds (about 521 packets) from the shop," Lubrino said.

He said the suspect only remitted to the company 58 coupons which were left but could not account for K4, 309 400 cash for the packets of seeds he had already sold.

Phiri was arrested following a complaint from the company.

According to the PRO, the suspect requested the police to allow him to replace the coupons and on November 27, 2018, he brought 61 coupons which are bearing Chikwawa District serial numbers, a development which prompted police to record a fresh case of unlawful possession of official documents.

Meanwhile, Phiri who hails from Njati Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza District, will appear before court soon to answer the charges once investigations are over.

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