Eight people have been arrested and more than 500 bags of fertiliser seized by police in a crackdown of racketeering schemes connected to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). The raids were done in separate locations in Muchinga and Copperbelt province.
Police in Mpongwe in Copperbelt on Saturday arrested five people and seized a truck laden with 412 bags of fertiliser, believed to be destined for the DRC. “We got a tip off from the public which led to the arrest of five people and confiscation of fertiliser,” confirmed area commanding police officer David Gondwe.
In Muchinga’s Chama province, area police commissioner Godwin Phiri said three people were arrested in connection with alleged FISP abuses in the district. Police said the trio was found with 189 50 kg bags of D compound and urea fertiliser. It’s believed to be FISP stock.
“We carried out an operation following numerous reports of people profiting from selling FISP inputs,” Phiri said.
Government is yet to comment on the arrests and confiscations.
Meanwhile 3 000 bags of mealie-meal was intercepted in North-Western Province, on a road leading to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the weekend. The 10 trucks with 25 kg bags of mealie-meal are believed to have been headed to Kipushi in the DRC.
District commissioner Ben Ngambo said incidences of smuggling were rising in the area. “The seizure of the bags of mealie-meal is part of the anti-smuggling efforts we have put in place,” Ngambo said.
Government last year banned the export of maize.
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