Congolese authorities have detained five Zambian illegal fishers, among them three juveniles, at Kashobwe State Prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The five were apprehended in Nchelenge District in Luapula Province yesterday around 05: 00 hours along the Luapula River on the Zambian side.
The culprits were thwarted between Chisenga Island and Shabo on the mainland for possession of fish during the seasonal ban.
They were apprehended alongside Chisenga Primary School deputy head teacher, Peter Mwale, Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) member, Stehpen Ngosa and two others unknown who have since been released.
The Commissioner of Police for Luapula Province, Malcolm Mulenga, confirmed the development in a telephone interview with ZANIS today.
Mr Mulenga said Mwale and Ngosa earned their freedom around 06: 00 hours yesterday after paying a ransom fee of K145 and K50 each respectively.
He explained that Mwale and Ngosa were victims of circumstances because the boat they were using as transport to the mainland was carrying fish prohibited by both the Congolese and the Zambian law during the fishing ban.
He said the exit and the whereabouts of the other two unidentified illegal fishers was not clear.
The police chief identified the duo that has been detained together with a trio of juveniles as a 23- year old Alice Mwape and Sydney Nsaka, aged, 32, all of Kapambwe village in chief Kanyembo’s chiefdom.
Mr Mulenga said the juveniles aged 12, 15 and 16 are from Kampampi village in chief Kambwali’s area Kapambwe village in Kanyembo chiefdom.
And the Police Command in Luapula Province said two more illegal fishers who were taken hostage by the Congolese authorities in Mwansabombwe district have walked to freedom.
Commissioner Mulenga said the duo of Samson Kabungo aged 54 and the 26 year-old William Chama was released on Thursday around 11: 00 hours after paying K500 each for their freedom.
Mr Mulenga said the duo of Kasao village was detained at Kabimbi Police Post after being apprehended early this week for violating the fish ban rules and regulations that are equally observed in the Congo DR.