Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Six Arrested in Copperbelt for Attempted Smuggling of 800 Bags of Mealie Meal to DR Congo.

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Copperbelt Police have arrested six people after intercepting 800 bags of mealie meal in Ndola believed to be destined for smuggling to DR Congo through Sakanya Border.

Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Peacewell Mweemba said the six were found around 02:00 hours on Wednesday morning in a Pajero that was escorting a tipper truck carrying about 800 bags of 25kg mealie meal branded Mukango Milling.

The suspects have been identified as Casini Phiri aged 29 of Chililabombwe, Kenny Kabuyana of Wusakile police camp – Kitwe, Brian Vimba Njobvu of Northrise in Ndola, Collins Chilembo of Mitengo in Ndola, Naomi Jere of Kansenshi in Ndola and Ines Jere of Northrise in Ndola.

Mr. Mweemba said the six suspects were earlier let go before they were re-arrested.

The Copperbelt Police Chief said the suspects admitted that the mealie meal is theirs and will appear in court soon.

“Assembling for the purpose of smuggling. Occurred on 15.03.23 at around 0230 hours in Minsundu area in ZAFFICO plantation in which three (3) police officers on patrol, headed by Sgt Kushikila of Protective unit – Ndola, who are currently attached to Zesco ant- vandalism team Ndola, whilst patrolling in Minsundu area in a Zaffico plantation, intercepted a tipper truck registration no. ABR 1209 carrying about 800 bags × 25kgs of mealie meal branded Mukango milling Company. The driver of the tipper truck, whose identity is yet to be known, ran away. It is believed that other trucks, number not known, had already crossed into Congo DR,” Mr. Mweemba said.

“However, at the time of impounding the truck, it was being escorted by a Pajero registration no. BCD 4670 with the following occupants 1. M/Casini Phiri aged 29 of Chililabombwe district also of cell no., 2. M/Kenny Kabuyana of Wusakile police camp – Kitwe also of cell no. , 3. M/Brian Vimba Njobvu of northrise township of Ndola,4. M/Collins Chilembo of Mitengo area of Ndola, 5. F/Naomi Jere of Kasenshi township Ndola and6. F/Ines Jere of Northrise Ndola, who claimed ownership of the mealie meal intercepted. Upon receipt of the report, Anti-Robbery Squad officers were instructed to go and give back up to the officers. However, at the time the anti robbery arrived, they were told that the 6 persons as mentioned above, had escaped whilst they were allowed to remain in the said vehicle. Another vehicle, namely, Jeep registration No. ACG 5354 was also intercepted at the same time. All the three vehicles are parked at Ndola District Police Headquarters. The district CIO Ndola has been tasked to find out how all the suspects were let go,” Mr. Mweemba added.

Mr. Mweemba revealed how Police in Ndola managed to apprehend the suspects who were earlier let go.

“Reference is made to the earlier impounded tipper truck registration no. ABR 1209 laden with an unknown number of bags of mealie meal, where it was reported that the 6 had escaped. Be informed that information was received about the whereabouts of the suspects, which led to the apprehension of the same. The suspects confirmed that there were about 800 X 25kg bags of breakfast mealie meal. Particularities of the detained suspects are as follows; the suspects were interviewed and admitted that the mealie meal is theirs and will appear in court soon,” Mr. Mweemba said.

Nearly a month ago, Police in Mufulira seized about 2,400 bags of mealie meal at a house in Mufulira believed to be destined for smuggling to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Peacewell Mweemba confirmed that three women have been detained by Police in connection with the alleged curtailed smuggling of mealie meal.

Mr. Mweemba identified the suspects as Hellen Chongo aged 41 of House Number 41 Zambia Compound Mokambo, Vinet Mulenga 39 of House Number 30 Chitimukulu and Maureen Miyandwe 39 of House Number 229 Zambia Compound Mokambo.

Police have opened investigations into the matter as they keep the seized mealie meal at a police station.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Why leave them alone ???
    If you dont know rainfall has been under normal in many parts, crops have suffered
    and i guess that means a shortage later in the year…

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  2. Our educated friends. Please help me understand this. I may be getting out of hand since apparently presidential pronouncements are not law unless it’s written down and stamped. But didn’t the president issue a directive that there are no longer smugglers but business leaders at the border? Secondly, is it just the reporting that is bad? I do think you can get an export permit for maize to the DRC, or is there a law that prohibits the same?
    Lastly, how do you secure a conviction if the accused say they were going to sale the maize at the border to Zambian traders?

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