6 October 2016 Last updated at: 2:02 AM
Three in cooler for impersonating Escom officers
Police in Mchinji have arrested three people who claimed to be Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) officers and stole K180,000 from customers.
Mchinji Police spokesperson Kaitano Lubrino identified the three as Patrick Brown, 26, Felix Jacob Gwagwala, 28, and Shamil Banda, 25.
He said the trio who live in Area 36 in Lilongwe were arrested on Monday at Kamwendo trading centre in Mchinji following a tip-off from a patriot.
Lubrino said all the suspects were found wearing garments such as overalls and boots while one among them had a fake Escom identity card.
One of the trio’s victims, 43 year-old Magret Biliati of Kamwendo who was duped of money amounting to K100, 000 told police that on Friday September 30, the three approached her claiming that they were officials from Escom.
The men claimed that they were on a project of meter-migration and repositioning and that they were mandated to inspect her houses.
Following this information, the woman gave them access and after their inspection they alleged to have detected an illegal connection to one of Biliati’s houses hence the demand for the fine.
The victim paid K100,000 after being threatened to pay K700,000 as fine if the issue was to be brought to the attention of top Escom bosses.
Police investigations have already established that the suspects also stole money from three other people within Kamwendo trading centre using the same tricks.
So far, the suspects have confessed to have obtained K180,000 which the police have since recovered.
Escom Security Supervisor for Central Region Electricity Service Classwell Chikatelo Kainga also told police that the suspects are not officials from the corporation and pleaded for wider investigations as they may have stolen more money from 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 the police are appealing to the general public to report as soon as possible any suspicious acts in order to avoid being victims of tricksters.
Patrick Brown comes from Kadzuwa village T/A Kachindamoto in Dedza, Felix Gwagwala hails from Mose village T/A Mabuka in Mulanje while Shamil Banda from Nsundwe T/A Kalolo in Lilongwe.