James Ngalande, MANA
Police in Mponela have arrested three men on suspicion that they were producing fake maize seeds and packed them in branded-bags in the name of Bayer Malawi Limited, formerly known as Monsanto.
According to Mponela Police public relations officer, Inspector Kaitano Lubrino, the three were arrested during the wee hours of Monday, November 9, after a well-wisher tipped the police that they were producing fake seed and packing them in the Bayer Malawi-branded bags.
The suspects have been identified as Govati Mkoko aged 38 from Kajondo Village in T.A. Kawombo in Kasungu; Mcloyd Chilunjika aged 43 from Mdabwi Village in T.A. Dzoole and Billy Yolamu 32 of Bwanali Village in Traditional Authority Mponela in Dowa District.
“The police launched an investigation after the tip of the unscrupulous activity,” Lubrino said. “Officers went to the house of Govati Mkoko at Khumalo Village where one sealing machine, Bayer Malawi-branded bags, wool and batch numbers were recovered.”
Kaitano further said they confiscated 38 packs of suspected counterfeit maize seed, each weighing 10Kgs.
Bayer Malawi Limited Central Region Sales Manager, Dennis Kachikho confirmed that the seeds were fake but the packaging materials were genuine.
He, however, condemned the unscrupulous activity, saying it is tarnishing the image of the company on the market.
“The reputation of Bayer Malawi Limited on the market is being tarnished by such people who are producing these fake maize seeds with our brand on the bags.
“This is not welcome to the development of the country because the seeds will not produce good returns to the farmers,” he said.
Kachikho further commended the police for an early burst of the syndicate which he said would completely contain the distribution of counterfeit maize seed on the market.
He also assured Malawians that Bayer Malawi is committed to give quality seed to farmers for best yields.
Meanwhile, police have warned people against such malpractice and expressed gratitude to community members for the cordial relationship with them.
The law enforcers have also encouraged the public to continue tipping the police on suspicious activities in their localities.
The suspects will appear before court soon to answer fraud charges.