Police at the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Thursday arrested a 31-year-old Chinese national for allegedly being in possession of ivory weighing 114 grammes and valued at MK159, 000.
KIA police spokesperson, Sgt. Sapulain Chitonde, identified the man as Nan Zhuang and that he allegedly attempted to export the ivory to China through Ethiopian Airways.
He said when quizzed about the prohibted game product, Zhuang blamed a fellow Chinese friend from who he had borrowed the bag.
The suspect claimed that he had packed the luggage without checking inside and he was shocked when the police fished out the five tablet-like objects in form of game trophies made from ivory.
“The bag was intercepted around noon at the Wrap and Go Machine in the passenger’s forward lounge when the police officer manning the spot physically searched the suspect’s bag, as a requirement before wrapping it,” Chitonde explained.
“The search revealed the attempted exportation of the said prohibited ivory and the suspect insisted that his colleague had betrayed him.”
Nan’s arrest comes barely a week after KIA Police successfully trained 22 new police officers in aviation securities.
Illegal possession and importation of of game trophy (ivory) is contrary to Section 86 and 98 (b) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 2004 as read with Section 111 of the same, which prohibits exportation of specimen of protected species, according to Chitonde.