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Police arrest Weekend Times impostor

Police in Blantyre have arrested a Weekend Times impostor who was trying to extort money from a Seventh Day Adventist pastor on false allegations.

The mastermind of the scam, John Kaipa – who is still at large – approached The Weekend Times last Friday after his colleague got arrested in Limbe.

He told the weekly’s editors that Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Wilson Jumbe had kidnapped his friend.

Kaipa alleged that the pastor was going out with a girl called Jean Nyirenda of Chirimba in the city but when pressed to substantiate his claims he failed.

Pressed further for evidence of the relationship between the pastor and the girl, Kaipa claimed the pastor was paying K50, 000 every month in main¬tenance costs.

But his version of the story fell flat when The Weekend Times interviewed the pastor Thursday. He dismissed Kaipa’s allegations as false.

He said Kaipa had threatened him that he was working with The Weekend Times and that the paper was about to publish a story about his relationship with the girl. He demanded K50, 000 if the pastor wanted the story to be killed.

“When he called again on Friday he said the story had not been published because he had given The Weekend Times K11, 000. And he demanded to be given the other amount before it was published in the next edition.

“At this point I decided to talk to my lawyers who established that The Weekend Times was not doing any story about me. So we proceeded to report to the police. When he called again we agreed to meet him with the police. But instead of him coming he sent his friend, who got arrested,” he said.

Police in Limbe confirmed the arrest but said they will only disclose details after investigations are completed. The Police said the Criminal investiga¬tions Department was still looking for all those in¬volved in the syndicate.

After his friend got arrested, Kaipa visited the Times Group offices claiming that a pastor had kidnapped his friend.

After quizzing him, he realised that he was cornered. He bolted.

In 2010 police in Blantyre also arrested two people for impersonating The Weekend Times reporters after they extorted money from a sports personality. They were found guilty and handed an 18 months suspended sentence.  Weekend Times

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