Two Chinese nationals and a Malawian are expected to appear in court this Wednesday after they were arrested on charges of illegal exportation of ivory weighing 50 kilogrammes (kg) cut into cubes and hidden in wooden boards.
Police at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe intercepted the ivory last week.
But the alleged owners of the ivory, Ahin Zhang aged 25 and Jaky Jhang, aged 44, who own a bar at Golden Peacock shopping complex, handed themselves over to police on Friday.
It was the Malawian, Mark Nyirenda, of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtwalo in Mzimba who allegedly paid DHL K721 000 to send the packages to China. Nyirenda denied owning the cartons, but finger-pointed the Chinese nationals.
KIA Police spokesperson Peter Botha said the ivory hidden inside nine wooden boards measuring 40cm by 30cm in three cartons were discovered during scanning before DHL as export agents put them on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for China.
It is not known if the ivory originated from one elephant because the tusks were cut into cubes.
According to Parks and Wildlife officials, ivory is selling at $60 (about K24 900) per kg on the international market.
Within a period of nine months, police at KIA have seized 163 kg of ivory, the most recent being 87kg for which a Nigerian national was fined K1 million (US$ 2 427 184.5) by the Nkunkhula Magistrate’s Court.