ZOMBA-(MaraviPost)-Barely weeks after Police in Mangochi district arrested a 31 year old ex-convict Henry Bauleni for duping people through Airtel money transactions, four people including a Prison warder, two convicts and a relative to one of the convicts are in Police custody at Zomba Police Station for allegedly stealing MK150,000.00 through Airtel money after sim swap.
Eastern region police publicist Joseph Sauka identified the four suspects as Stonken Chavunda 32, and Batson Fletcher 36 who are convicts and serving their sentences at Zomba Maximum Prison, Sergeant James Banda 45 who is a Prison warder at the same facility and Bartholomew Njala 21 who is a relative to Batson Fletcher.
According to the victim Noel Itimu, on August 17, 2018 he received a call from unknown person who introduced himself as an Airtel employee and said he wanted to know if he had already upgraded his sim card to 4G as it is more secure once registered; but the victim ignored him.
Just after an hour, the victim realized that his mobile phone had no network and this made him to report the issue to Airtel office who upon checking, they discovered that the number was hacked by unknown person and had already transfered the cash to another number through Airtel money.
After a proper follow up, it was discovered that the money was cashed out from an Airtel agent close to Zomba Central Hospital.
This led to the arrest of the agent and his arrest led to the arrest of Bartholomew Njala of Chinamwali location who cashed the money.
Upon interview, Bartholomew confessed to have surrendered the money to Sergeant James Banda who is a Prison warder who also confessed to have handed over the money to the convict Batson Fletcher.
After being quizzed, Batson revealed that the money was transfered to his airtel money account by Stonken Chavunda who is a convict serving 50 years jail term at the same prison.
This led to the arrest of Stonken who confirmed to have stolen the money after swapping the sim card. He said he first swapped the sim card of the victim by calling Airtel Customer Care to replace the number after he alleged to have lost his mobile phone and the sim card.
Stonken further said after 10 minutes, the number was replaced and after checking the account, he found MK150,000.00 which he cashed with assistance of his co-accused and the Prison warder.
Police has since recovered the money and the suspects have already been charged with the offence of theft which is contrary to section 278 of the Penal code and have been remanded to Zomba Maximum Prison awaiting trial.
Stonken Chavunda comes from Maida village, Traditional Authority (T.A) Kapichi in Thyolo district while Batson Fletcher, Bartholomew Njala and the prison warder Sergeant James Banda come from T.A Mwambo in the district of Zomba.
Police in the region is appealing to the general public to tread carefully when they are making any transactions with unknown person on phone.