A Malawi court sentenced a Mozambican on Friday to 12 years in prison for trafficking minors, the Malawi news agency announced.
Jafali Pedro was sentenced by a court in Mangochi, near Lake Niassa, after being intercepted on August 27 at the Mkanje border in the company of four Malawian teenagers on their way to Mozambique.
The prosecutor reported that the Mozambican told law enforcement officials that he was taking the minors to family members, but they said they were being taken to work on an agricultural farm.
Jafali Pedro eventually pleaded guilty and tried to mitigate the charge by asking for clemency and saying he cares for orphans and his elderly mother.
However, the court suppressed the appeal, writes the Malawian news agency, arguing that human trafficking cases are increasing along Malawi’s borders.
“Traffickers lure young people into dubious businesses that put their future at risk, hence the need for a strict sentence to prevent others from committing similar crimes,” said prosecutor Josephine Chigawa.
Judge Joshua Nkhono agreed and established the 12-year prison term.
The Mozambican is a native of a village in the Ngauma district, which borders Malawi.