The police in Mchinji have arrested three people who were masquerading and impersonating as ESCOM officials who in the process were stealing money from its customers.
Confirming the ordeal to News Watch Reviews, Mchinji Police spokesperson Kaitano Lubrino ssid the trio came all the way from Area 36 in Lilongwe and were arrested on Monday, October 03, 2016 at Kamwendo trading centre in Mchinji district.
“The police were successfull to arrest the impersonators after following up a tip-off from a patriot over their suspicious acts. All the suspects were found wearing ESCOM like garments like overalls, boots and worksuits while one among them had a fake identity card for the electricity supply commission”, said Kaitano.
According to one of the Escom customers Magret Biliati (43) of Kamwendo Trading Centre in the area of Traditional Authority Zulu in Mchinji who was duped of money amounting to K100, 000.00 told police that on Friday September 30, the trio approached her claiming that they were officials from Escom and were on a project of meter-migration and re-positioning and that they were mandated to inspect its clients.
“Following this information, the woman gave them access who after their inspection they alleged to have detected an illegal connection to one of her houses hence the demand for the fine”, added Kaitano.
“After a long time of discussion to negotiate the fine, the victim paid K100,000.00 after being threatened to pay K700,000.00 as fine if the issue was to be brought to the attention of ESCOM high authorities”, said Kaitano.
Police investigations have already established that the suspects have stolen money from three people within Kamwendo Trading Centre using the same tricks. So far the suspects have confessed to have obtained K180,000.00 of which K30,000 was paid back to the owner while the police on another hand have recovered K150,000.
According to ESCOM Security Supervisor for Central Region Electricity Service Mr. Classwell Chikatelo Kainga has denounced that the suspects are not officials from the cooperation and has pleaded for wider investigations as they may have stolen more money from their clients.
The suspects will appear before court soon to answer charges of impersonation and theft contrary to section 389 and 278 of the penal code respectively.
Meanwhile, Malawi Police is appealing to the general public to report as soon as posible any suspicious act inorder to avoid being victims of tricksters.
The suspects identified by the Police are; Patrick Brown 26 years of Kadzuwa village under Traditional Authourity Kachindamoto in Dedza district, Felix Jacob Gwagwala 28 years of Mose village under Traditional Authourity Mabuka in Mulanje district, while Shamil Banda, 25, hails from Nsundwe village in the area of Traditional Authourity Kalolo in Lilongwe.
All the suspects are currently living at area 36 in Lilongwe.