The suspect, Andrew Banda, is alleged to have stolen a Toyota Noah from Antony Banda, a Mchinji-based businessman. He committed the offence in July back in Mchinji.
During that time, Banda is said to have duped his boss that he wanted to ferry some Asian tourists to different locations. On 31 July, he chose to change his contact number with intent to cut himself off with his boss.
Following this development, the owner of the car reported to Kamwendo Police before reporting further to the main station at Mchinji. A search has since been fruitless since the suspect escaped and sought refuge at Dembo Market in Chikwawa District.
While at Dembo, Banda ventured into a "matola" business plying along Thabwa-Fatima Road.
On Sunday--2 September, 2018--he decided to sell the car to one Blantyre based man, Precious James at a price of K800,000. The suspect pocketed K500,000 on condition that he would get the balance when a blue book got secured.
On Monday, the new buyer checked with the Directorate of the Road Traffic to verify the actual ownership. The exercise, however, laid bare all details, disowning the suspect outright.
The once unsuspecting buyer became suspicious after realising that the vehicle--registration number LL 2711--was registered in the name of Antony Banda of Chiwosha Village under Traditional Authority Simphasi in Mchinji District.
He lodged a complaint at Chikwawa Police Station. Police detectives, led by Sergeant Alex Tembo, embarked on an undercover. A female police detective posed as a sister to the buyer.
According to plan, the suspect and the purported sister had to meet at Dyeratu Trading Centre for the former(suspect) to collect his balance.
The trick, however, worked out as the suspect immediately got apprehended. He has since been handed over to the regional Anti-Motor Vehicle Theft Unit.
Banda hails from Masuku Village in the area of Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in Mangochi District.