Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Thursday convicted and fined seven charcoal traffickers apprehended last week in a joint Forestry Department and the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) operation.
The seven were arrested at Zalewa as they transported hundreds of bags of charcoal in seven trucks from Neno to Blantyre.
Senior resident magistrate Akay Mwanyongo found the seven guilty on two counts of illegal possession and illegal trafficking of charcoal.
The court convicted and ordered six of them to pay a K2.5 million fine or in default serve jail for 17 months.
The seventh, Gift Lingison, from Dayelo Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlauli, Neno District was fined K1.5 million or in default to serve 16 months in jail.
The other convicts are Sackson Chintumbira from Magaleta Village, T/A Mlauli in Neno District, Paul Majawa from Magasa Village, T/A Machinjiri, Blantyre District; Herald Loga of Chasansa Village in T/A Kapeni Blantyre District, Madalitso Kaliati of Mbemba in T/A Symon in Neno District, Patrick Chapola of Kimu Village T/A Mwambo, Zomba District and Kelvin Njoka of Ndelema Village in T/A Symon in Neno District.