Government has expressed concern over increased cases of arrests of Malawian young women abroad for drug trafficking offences.
Spokesperson for the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Rejoice Chaponda said this when confirming the conviction of four Malawian women in Ethiopia for drug trafficking.
“In the past month, two young Malawian ladies were arrested at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for trafficking dangerous drugs and are currently in detention awaiting trial,” Chaponda said.
She added: “Another Malawian woman is serving a 7-year jail sentence in an Ethiopian prison while a forth woman is undergoing trial in the same country, having been arrested last year over similar charges with others serving sentences in India as well as Latin America.”
Chaponda said based on the reports they have gathered from the arrested women, the victims are either duped or coerced by foreigners who are mostly male to participate in the illicit drug trade with promises of monetary rewards, better life and sometimes even marriage.
“In some cases, the drug dealers have also approached the victims posing as businessmen trading in products such as cosmetics, artificial hair and other items and have taken the unsuspecting women on business trips to places such as India, Brazil and West African countries,” the spokesperson explained.
She appealed to all Malawians who are travelling abroad to be cautious not to fall victims to such fraudsters who mostly are traffickers of dangerous drugs including cocaine, heroin and other dangerous narcotic substances.
Chaponda emphasized that it is the duty of everyone to report to the authorities whenever they notice or meet suspicious people.
She reminded the public that drug trafficking is a serious offence which carries heavy penalties including death sentence in some countries.