SARPCCO Regional Bureau Representative Rudolph Mbumba made the remarks in Lilongwe at an Environmental crime investigators workshop where the men in uniform from all SADC member states were discussing ways of handling environmental crime which is fast growing in the regional block.
According to SARPCCO, there are many cross boarder crimes within the region including motor vehicle theft, illegal immigration but the major one is environmental crime involving poaching and selling of round wood to foreign countries.
“The countries are either involved or are used as routes to the markets,” Mbumba noted.
The crimes are posing a security threat to people within the region according to the Regional Bureau Representative.
“Those involved in the malpractice want to enrich themselves and rob off countries tourism benefits that come with the tourism industry, “said Mbumba
Deputy Inspector General of Police Responsible for Operations Rodney Jose reiterated Malawi’s commitment to fighting environmental crime, stressing the need for concerted efforts in the region as criminals are working in organized and well coordinated trend.
Jose pointed out that it is the duty of police service and its stakeholders to prevent and fight the malpractice, explaining that such crimes keep on affecting the survival of endangered species such as elephants.
“We’ve had cases in the country whereby police officers have confiscated containers of round wood as well as tones of ivory, but I want to say it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the malpractice ends,”. Jose said
Recently, Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating world wildlife day to show her commitment on environmental issues.