The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on Sunday evening impounded a vehicle carrying 109 bags of cannabis sativa, popularly known as Chamba, each weighing about 30 kilogrammes at its Lirangwe customs roadblock in Blantyre.
MRA officials estimate the consignment to be worth billions.
Chamba is still illegal in the country and officials at the tax-collecting body have said the van registration ZA 1580 and owned by Chatherm Technologies was on its way to Blantyre from Nkhotakota.
Apparently, the van managed to cross all the roadblocks along the country’s main roads with the consignment.
But officials manning the Lirangwe road block, which checks any goods going in and out of Blantyre City, say they stopped and forced the driver and three other people out of the vehicle upon his reluctance to voluntarily allow the officers to search the vehicle.
They searched the van and noticed that all the 109 bags it was transporting were actually filled with the illegal herb.
The officials at the road block also stated that Police are yet to make any arrest on matter as the driver and the other three escaped as the police were searching the van.
So far Michael Mlenga of Nancholi Township in Blantyre has claimed ownership of the vehicle which is white in colour although its registration documents indicate it is red and is owned by a Mr. B Chawawa.
In an interview later, Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs at MRA, Steven Kapoloma, confirmed the development, saying police are really yet to make any arrests.
“Indeed as MRA we impounded a van which was transporting about 109 bags of chamba to Blantyre, this is part of our mandate as apart from collecting tax we also are under obligation to protect Malawian citizens from hazardous goods and products which may enter the country through our borders,” Kapoloma said.
Meanwhile, Kapoloma has also said MRA has officially handed over the Indian hemp to the police to help with investigations and disposal.
“Our role as MRA ended when we handed over the consignment to the Police to investigate and dispose of the consignment, but still more we will follow through the whole process,” He said.
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