Fraudsters hit Malawi prisons: ‘Tainting the image of lawyers’
Prison authorities in the Northern Region have complained that some fraudsters are soliciting money from people whose relatives are in prison on pretext that they would facilitate their early release from jail.
Northern Region Prisons Publicist, Austin Mwansangwale in an interview on Wednesday said the conmen are either claiming to be lawyers, court or prison officials.
“Of late we have been receiving complaints from people who have been duped by the fraudsters.
“We suspect that the fraudsters are ex-prisoners who have a lot of information about the prison set up,” Mwansangwale said.
He explained that the conmen have full names of current prisoners, their offences and jail terms.
“They solicit contact details for the inmates’ relatives and tell them that they can help them to have their relatives released upon paying money ranging from K100, 000 to K250, 000.
“Some unsuspecting people easily give in to such demands after hearing vivid explanation of their relatives’ factual case details,” Mwasangwale said.
He, therefore, warned people nationwide not to fall in such traps.
“This type of daylight robbery has seen many people, especially from Karonga, Rumphi and Mzuzu, being robbed of their hard-earned money,” he said.
Commenting on the issue in a separate interview, Knowledge of the Laws of the Land Executive Director, Christon Ghambi, said the fraudsters are tainting the image of lawyers and their firms.
“We are aware of these unpatriotic citizens who are duping innocent people by claiming that they are lawyers or officers from law firms who can help their relatives get released from prison either by pardon or bail.
“This is very sad and we ask the general public to be aware of such people,” said Ghambi who is also a lawyerFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
This is common in all central prisons and not only in north. At Maula they don’t pose as lawyers but as Prison warders who call relatives of the prisoners and ask them to send money through Airtel or Mpamba. in order to have their inmates released. One poor family i know sent K150,000 to someone who said he would facilitate release of a brother inmate in Zomba. I would suspect prison warders to be the culprits because they are the ones who collect personal data including phone contacts from prisoners. A few times I have received calls from my prisoner… Read more »
It is a clandestine syndicate that is primarily being run by prison warders, police officers especially prosecutors and investigators, court clerks and at times even clerks in lawyers’ offices as well as these paralegals from unscrupulous and unknown organizations roaming prisons. They collaborate to rip off unsuspecting relations of persons who are in prisons.
Our systems are too simplistic in terms of the ease with which you can get details of persons in prisons. There is no data protection at all making it easy to con people. No wonder others go a mile and forge release orders for some criminals
that’s the north for you..