THE Ndola Magistrates’ Court has convicted a police officer in Ndola for being in possession of counterfeit notes.
However, Ndola resident magistrate Changa Chitabo suspended sentence because by his conviction, the police officer had lost his job.
This is in a matter where Ellington Chipoka, 25, a police officer based at Peter Singogo police camp in Ndola was charged and arrested for being in possession of counterfeit bank notes.
It is alleged that on August 16, 2018, Chipoka had in his possession 100 notes amounting to K2,100 counterfeit bank notes knowing they were forged.
And when the matter came up on Friday, magistrate Chitabo found Chipoka guilty of the offence and convicted him after the State proved its case against him beyond reasonable doubt.
In mitigation, Chipoka’s lawyer Kenneth Tembo from the Legal Aid asked the court to exercise maximum leniency as his client was a family man and a first offender.
However, magistrate Chitabo said the offence Chipoka committed was a felony, which was least expected from an officer who is supposed to promote law and order.
He convicted him to a three-year suspended sentence and to pay a fine of K3000, in default serve nine months imprisonment with hard labour.
Magistrate Chitabo said he slapped Chipoka with a three-year suspended sentence so that he does not commit any similar offence.
“I note that as a police officer, his employment is terminated by virtue of him being convicted and hence I sentence you to three years suspended and to pay a fine of K3000, in default nine months in imprisonment,” ordered magistrate Chitabo.
During trial, the court heard that arresting officer, detective sergeant Kelvin Chansa, charged Chipoka after a complainant reported him to police.
He said that Chipoka went to an MTN Mobile booth belonging to Mathews Kapindula in Masala where he allegedly deposited 10 of K100 counterfeits notes.
He said while searching Chipoka, he came across 11 more notes of K100 on him.
Chansa further said the Bank of Zambia also confirmed that the notes were fake after he submitted them for verification.
And in his defence, Chipoka narrated that on the material day he sold his laptop to a man only identified as Gilbert.
He said after running his errands, he went to Masala market to deposit K1000 for his aunt who resides in Mushili then the rest to his account.
Chipoka narrated that while inside the shop, two men insulted and gave him an option to bribe them with K1000 each for transacting in counterfeit notes.
He said he refused to bribe them and that was how they took him to Masala police station.
Chipoka said the officer who arrested him did not conduct his investigations on the matter to establish the source of the alleged counterfeit notes.