A Chinese man, who appeared in a BBC documentary where he allegedly filmed Malawian children using racist words to make fun of themselves, was on Monday charged with child trafficking, authorities in the southeast African country said.
The man, identified as Lu Ke, appeared before a magistrates court in the country’s capital city of Lilongwe, CNN reported. Harry Namwaza, who is the deputy spokesperson for the Malawi Police Service, told the news outlet that Lu faces five counts of child trafficking.
Lu initially fled to Zambia after authorities announced they were searching for him. He was, however, later extradited back to Malawi following his arrest in Zambia.
“He appeared before the court yesterday (Monday) and he has been remanded to Maula Prison for 15 days as police work on finalizing the investigations,” Namwaza said. “He asked for court bail but he was denied as there is fear that he may run away as shown in his previous encounter.”
The BBC Africa Eye documentary accused Lu of filming personalized greetings videos that featured Malawian children. The videos, some of which allegedly had racist content, were uploaded online and sold in China.
In one of the videos shown in the documentary, some of the children were heard singing: “I’m a black monster and my IQ is low,” in Chinese.
The videos drew the ire of the Malawian public after the documentary was released.
Namwaza said Lu is yet to enter a plea, adding that he was also without legal representation when he appeared before the court on Monday.
China’s interests in Africa over the last decade have translated into many more Chinese people in African countries now more than ever before. Many of them are business owners who do everything from manufacturing to retailing. However, citizens of dozens of African countries have reported abuse from Chinese nationals as well as culture clashes.