By Alice Chunga
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife this week arrested four Chinese nationals for being found illegally fishing one of the endangered species, Cichlid fish (Mbuna), in Lake Malawi National Park.
The accused are Cui Xu (51), Wu Zhou (40), Hong Peng (38) and Hai Jang (29). All the suspects are staff members of Furen Group Limited situated in Limbe, Blantyre.
A statement filed by Assistant Parks Officer, Emma Banda highlighted that Lake Malawi National Park law enforcement officers received a tip that the suspects were illegally fishing Cichlid from the park.
“At around 15:40 pm on November 17, 2019 Lake Malawi National Park law enforcement officers received a tip about four Chinese nationals that were in possession of the strictly protected Cichlid fish from the park’s protected area.
“When quizzed, the suspects started to run away but were quickly arrested by the park’s law enforcement officers,” reads part of the statement.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Head of Law Enforcement at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Alex Chunga said they are taking the matter seriously and the suspects will appear before court soon.
“The suspects are currently being held at Mangochi Police Station waiting for court appearance where they are expected to answer charges of illegal harvesting of protected species (Cichlid),” Chunga said.