LILONGWE- Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Yona on Wednesday, convicted and fined two South Koreans with MK2.2 million, and in default, two years in jail, with hard labor each, for the illegal possession and attempting to export ivory.
The two convicts, identified as Hyun Ku Kim, 60, and Lee Sang Yong aged 65, were on Tuesday arrested at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) for the illegal possession and attempting to export ivory weighing 1.5 kilograms, and valued at MK2 million.
According to KIA police spokesperson Sapulain Chitonde, he said the police stationed at the main terminal X-ray machine, took the convicts’ bag for further examination, after an X-ray machine detected the Ivory.
Chitonde said when a police officer physical search was conducted, five pieces of curved game trophy (ivory) were found.
The suspected owner of the bag, Hyun Kim accepted liability, but he was quick to implicate Yong, whom Kim claimed, gave him the Ivory as a gift.
The police publicist added that the information provided by Kim, led to the arrest of the second suspect, who also admitted the offence.
The two were taken to court on Wednesday.
Chitonde said Kim was convicted on two counts of Illegal possession and exportation of Game trophy (ivory), which is contrary to section 98 as read with Section 111, and 113 of National Parks and Wild Life Act 2004.
On the other hand, Yong was found guilty of an offence dealing in a Government Game Trophy (Ivory), which is contrary to section 91 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 2004.
“Each suspect was convicted and sentenced to a fine of MK 2,250,000.00, and in default to 2 years in jail, with hard labor. They have therefore paid the fine,” Chitonde said.
“The Trophies have been forfeited to Malawi Government, and already collected by officers from the National Parks & Wild Life department.,” he said.
The police are appealing to the general public to avoid wildlife crimes since wildlife conservation is beneficial to the country.