LILONGWE, Dec. 11 — Police have arrested a Zimbabwean national and two Malawians for allegedly possessing three live pangolins, an endangered animal species in Malawi.
The three were arrested on Monday in Limbe, the center of the commercial capital of the country, Blantyre, according to a police statement on Tuesday.
“The officers from the Wildlife Crime Investigations Unit in Lilongwe and their Limbe counterparts organized an operation which led to the suspects’ arrest and seizure of the animals on December 9, 2019,”read the statement signed by Limbe Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Patrick Mussa.
“This was after our detectives were tipped off by some patriotic citizens that the three were possessing the said pangolins which they were offering for sale,” it said.
Musa said the three have since been charged with an offense of being found in possession of specimen of listed species.
Meanwhile, the protected species have been released back into a wildlife reserve about 50 kilometers from Blantyre City upon a court order.
In September this year the country’s court also sentenced two Malawians to three years imprisonment for their involvement in a largest transnational wildlife trafficking syndicate that included pangolins.