By Fostina Mkandawire MANA

Police in Salima Thursday arrested four men for allegedly stealing maize meant for relief distribution.

The four have been identified as Ngale Mkwapatira, 28, Jack Taibu, 31, Lukiyo Jamukele, 24 and Apatsa Bisayi, 33.

According to Salima Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Rabecca Ndiwate, it was established that at around 11 pm, Police received a tip that unknown people were offloading bags of maize at Nkhukhi area in the district.

She said immediately, a team of officers rushed to the scene and found a Fermak truck, registration number NS 4091 loaded with bags of maize and it’scanopy removed, while another vehicle, Mazda, registration number LL 13248 was parked aside.

“The officers noted that the suspects were exchanging sacks removing the maize from the government branded sacks and putting the maize in ordinary sacks,” Ndiwate explained.

Immediately upon the arrival of Police Officers, the two tonne vehicle, being driven by the third suspect, Lukiyo Jamukele, sped off.

The driver of the Fermak track, Ngale Mkwapatira, and his assistance, Taibu also fled to the nearby bush, leaving the truck on the scene.

She added, “Officers manning Kaphatenga roadblock were alerted about the two tonne vehicle, and it was detained, leading to the arrest of the occupants, driver Jamukele and his assistant, Bisayi.”

Ndiwate said further enquiries were carried out which led to the arrest of the truck driver, Ngale, and his assistant Taibu, who upon interrogation, narrated that he loaded 640 bags of maize at National Food Reserve Agency, belonging to World Food Programme in Kanengo, and was going to Mangochi to deliver the maize for relief distribution.

The two confessed to have connived with a certain business man to sale him the maize and agreed to meet at Nkhukhi Village.

The four will appear in court soon to answer charges of theft after completion of paper work.

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