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12 ARRESTED IN COVID-19 SCAM

...as police corner suspects in Matero

BY NOEL IYOMBWA

TWELVE people have been detained for duping members of the public with fake Covid relief packages and taking money from unsuspecting victims.

Police in Lusaka have arrested twelve suspects who have been registering people and promising them money for emergency cash transfer for impersonating a public officer.

Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said that the 12 have been arrested for obtaining money by false pretenses.

She said that the suspects are alleged to have been representing themselves as officials from Community Development and Social services and in some instances found collecting money from members of the public purporting that they were registering people as beneficiaries of the COVID-19 emergency support.

“Two suspects were arrested on 28th August, 2020 from Katambalala Market area in Zingalume Compound where they were found taking down particulars of people indicating their NRC numbers and charging between K2 and K10 per person. About 150 people had registered and K 185 was recovered from them.

She said that the suspects aged 25 and 23 are in Police custody.

“In a similar incidence, Police in Lusaka today (yesterday) arrested 10 people for personating a public officer.

This is alleged to have occurred today, 29th August, 2020 in Matero Township.

“After receiving a report from Community Development and Social Services officials, police officers followed up the report apprehended ten (10) suspects aged between 26 years and 30 years. Investigations have continued,” he said.

Meanwhile Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya has revealed that the Covid-19 relief package that is going round on social media is a scam. Some of the social media scams are offering between K200 and K30,000 by asking people to click on links which then redirect the reader to other sites which for betting or where someone is then asked to send money in order to access what is promised. One such scam reads.”

Crisis grants of K30,700 are now available for individuals who need support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To check eligibility visit https://relief-funds. …..”
Dr Chilufya warned that the public to ignore such posts as they were not from the ministry or any arm of government.

“Covid-19 relief package by some unscrupulous people is a scam. Should you come across such individuals you should report to the Police. And we dissociate ourselves from the package,” he added.

Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya has disclosed that Vice President, Inonge Wina has tested negative to Covid-19.

Earlier this month, the Vice President tested positive for Coronavirus.

Dr Chilufya said the Vice President is at home after testing negative for Covid-19 and is in a stable condition.

He disclosed this in Lusaka yesterday during the update on Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country.

“Her honor the Vice President Inonge Musukwa Wina tested negative to Covid-19 and has been discharged from our care and continues to be attended to at home.

She is stable and is recuperating very well under our care,” he said.

And the Country has recorded 123 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours out of the 1,171 tests done.

Dr Chilufya said unfortunately, one person has died of Covid-19 and the country recorded 147 recoveries.

He further added that this brings the cumulative total number of cases to 11,902 including 284 deaths.

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