Sunday, June 16, 2024

Police in Mpulungu seize trucks laden with maize for smuggling

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Police in Mpulungu District have impounded eight trucks of maize that are allegedly suspected to have been planned for smuggling into neighboring countries.

Northern Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Mpundu disclosed that the maize which was bought from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in Kasama and destined to Nakonde district was intercepted in Mpulungu district.

He says everyone is highly suspicious of how the maize bought by a milling plant in Nakonde could find itself in Mpulungu without proper documentation.

He explained that the government decided to offload the maize to milling companies in the country to help reduce mealie meal prices on the market.

“The bigger question that begs answers is why the maize that was destined to Nakonde could find its way to Mpulungu, a harbor town that connects countries. So it is highly suspected by all of us that it may have been meant for smuggling” he said.

He disclosed that police have since launched investigations into the matter to determine the correct picture.

The PS said this in an interview with journalists shortly after discovering the incident.

He has since warned people with plans to smuggle maize from the province to stay away as security wings are on high alert to quash such plans.

“I would love to warn people who plan to smuggle to stay away as our security personnel in the province are on high alert” he said.

And Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Provincial Marketing Coordinator Timothy Chanda says about 4200 by 50 kg bags of maize equivalent to 200 metric tons are involved.

He said the Agency has also launched an investigation into the issue to determine the truth.

Mr Chanda said FRA expects all millers who apply to access maize from them to comply with the applicable laws.

“We expect all the millers to abide by the modalities of the sales agreement that they sign with the agency” he said.

He has however warned millers who are abrogating the conditions of the sales agreement that they risk having their contracts terminated.

But Terry Milling, the company at the centre of the controversy, disclosed that his company borrowed the maize from a milling company in Nakonde to process into a mealie meal.

Terry Milling Company Manager Hodes Sikazwe said his firm had no stocks and had to borrow the maize from their business partner.

He stated that one truck of maize containing about 500 by 50 kg bags had already been offloaded.

“We had customers who were waiting for the mealie meal so that is how we borrowed the maize from our friends in Nakonde milling so that we could process it into a mealie meal” he said.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Nobody knows what is to happen next. Many nations around the globe has been storing food, portable water, clean water & medications for heavy rainy days/ building Rescue safety Bunkers.

    It’s time Motherland nations learnt when to limit their sharing.

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