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Civil servants duped in loan schemes

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Public servants in the country are at risk of being duped as some unscrupulous individuals are beating money lending institution, GetBucks, system by obtaining loans under the pretext of being civil servants, The Daily Times has established.

GetBucks is a South African financial institution which specifically offer, loans of up to K1 million to civil servants in the country.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed having received a number of complaints from some civil servants, who had a rude awakening after their salaries were deducted for loans they did not obtain.

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But in an interview on Monday, Credit Manager for GetBucks Owen Banda, while acknowledging existence of the fraud, said the institution is doing everything possible to deal with the scam.

Said Banda: “We are using internal procedures which are governed by industry regulations in handling the complaints. Just like any other business we are also faced with this challenge but be assured we are doing something about it.”

When it was put to him that perhaps the conditions attached to obtaining the loan might be weak, Banda parried away such fears, arguing that what the company is offering is regulated by the industry.

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“I don’t think it’s fair to say that our system is weak, this is happening not necessarily because we don’t have good infrastructure in place or capacity constraints. It’s just one of those things,” he said.

One of the latest victims, Watson Maingo, a District Information Officer (DIO) in Salima said he started being deducted K16,000 in January this year after an unknown person obtained a loan of K164,000 approved after successfully presenting to the money lending institution a payslip and an ID bearing his name.

“I was shocked because I never obtained a loan from Getbucks, at least K141, 000 was deducted from my salary in the last seven months. I have been fighting tooth and nail to have my money reimbursed and just yesterday is when I was given back my money in full,” said Maingo.

Lilongwe Police spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula said his office started getting such complaints last year, adding that two people were arrested in connection with the theft and are currently on bail.

He further said the complainants came from as far as Blantyre and that the victims accused some accounts staff in government departments of conniving with the fraudsters to commit the crime.

Dandaula nonetheless said such claims were not proved and that currently the law enforcers are investigating new leads.

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