Man commits suicide after being scammed out of K1.3 million


A 47-year-old man in Lilongwe has committed suicide by throwing himself into a river after a fake car seller duped him out of K1.3 million.

The deceased has been identified as Austin Maseko.

Lilongwe Police spokesperson Hastings Chigalu said Maseko (deceased) was contacted through WhatsApp by unknown person who claimed to have a Toyota Sienta car for sale.

Though Maseko did not physically see the car, let alone meet the seller in person, after days of discussions on the same, Maseko expressed interest and settled to purchase the said vehicle at K2, 000,000 (two million kwacha).

Then Maseko and the said car seller agreed to meet at Nanjiri Trading Centre on June 19, 2022 for the vehicle and money to finally exchange hands.

But when Maseko who arrived at the agreed place early in the morning called the said car seller where he was, the trickster claimed that he was in the hands of traffic police at Dedza, and that he urgently needed money to settle for the road traffic offence fine.

He further told Maseko to send the 1.3 million kwacha through mobile money transfer.

Without first verifying with other sources, Maseko did exactly what he was asked to. He sent the said amount through Airtel Money transfer.

However, the trickster’s phone went out of reach soon after the money transaction.

After waiting in vain for hours, Maseko started off home where he narrated the whole ordeal to his wife.

However, at around 19:00 hours on the same day, Maseko surprisingly left home for unknown destination.

It was until June 24, 2022 when his body was found floating in Nanjiri River.

Postmortem by Mitundu Health Centre medical personnel revealed that death was due to suffocation.

Austin Maseko, hailed from Zamalala Village, T/A Chadza Lilongwe in District.


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