Lengwe National Par
Antelopes in Lengwe National Park

CHIKWAWA (MaraviPost): The Malawi police in the lower shire and southern district of Chikwawa are keeping in custody a Mozambican and two Chinese nationals for allegedly extracting Mopane wood illegally at Lengwe National Park (NP).

This followed the Department of National Parks and Wildlife arrest of the trio national who have been extracting the Mopane trees from the Extension Area of Lengwe NP and transporting them into Mozambique to sell.

Chikwawa Police Station Spokesperson, Mark Munama has identified the suspects as Jose Manuel (Mozambican) and Ying Lee & Shupei Zen (Chinese) that the team has been extracting Mopane since March this year.

The National Parks Department together with the police have also confiscated equipment the trio were using worthy US $1million plus including 6 4×4 Tractors, two caterpillars ‘bulldozer’ / road grader, thirty-ton lorry, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Land cruiser, two chainsaws and four motorbikes

According to the police report the arrests were made five kilometers into Lengwe National park from the Mozambique border as a delegation from the Mozambique Police force and the Malawi Police force arrived at Lengwe NP headquarters and moved all equipment to Chikwawa police station.

There is a counter-claim that the Mozambicans have been kidnapped from Mozambique and are being held against their will in Malawi.

The arrested Mozambican and Chinese nationals claimed all of the equipment belonged to them except for the chainsaws for which they stated they knew nothing about.