Delhi Police – The New Indian Express
NEW DELHI: Three Nigerian nationals have been arrested for allegedly deceiving more than 1,000 people out of millions of rupees over the past eight years through dating sites and social media platforms, police said on Monday.
The defendants have been identified as Paul Onyeji Atuh, Samuel Aniagor and Charles Pous Chukwuebuka.
The gang had also duped people from other Asian countries, Deputy Police Commissioner (Central) Shweta Chauhan said.
The matter came to light after a resident of central Delhi filed a complaint on the National Cyber Crime Portal claiming that she was duped out of Rs 55,900.
According to the complainant, she came into contact with a person on a marriage site.
He introduced himself as Ankit Verma and that he was a doctor based outside of Canada.
They exchanged phone numbers and started talking on WhatsApp, Chauhan said.
On December 22, the person told the complainant that he had arrived here at Indira Gandhi International Airport, but was detained by customs officials for transporting a huge sum of Canadian dollars.
“Then a lady called the complainant from another mobile number and told her that Verma had been taken into custody at the airport and that they had to pay Rs 55,900 to get him released. plaintiff transferred the money in two installments to the bank account provided by the lady,” DCP said.
“The lady further raised a claim for Rs 1.50,000 saying that the money was needed to get permission from the Ministry of Finance. It was then that the plaintiff sensed something fishy. and refused to pay more,” Chauhan said.
During the investigation, the police discovered that a large number of transactions had been made from the account to which the complainant had transferred the money, she said.
“Furthermore, money credited to these accounts was transferred to other bank accounts or immediately withdrawn via ATMs. Various bank accounts were opened in the names of different people to spin the money.
“Bank account details were collected from various banks. The teams collected the CCTV footage of the ATMs from which the money was withdrawn. A CDR analysis of the mobile phones was also carried out,” said said the officer.
During questioning, the defendants revealed that they created fake profiles on various dating sites and social media platforms to deceive people, Chauhan said.
The DCP said the defendants used to win over their targets by telling them they had either sent gifts or were flying out for a meeting.
“They also used to create dummy package tracking receipts. After three to four days, one of their gang members would call the targets posing as a customs officer or an airport authority agent.” , she said.
“The accused then said that there were dollars or pounds in the package and the person had to pay customs and conversion fees to receive it. Once the amount was paid, they used to ask for more money,” the officer said. Explain.
One of the three defendants had entered India illegally via the Bangladesh border in December 2020. Since then, he had been residing in Greater Noida and was arrested from there, she said.
Police said 25 bank accounts set up at different banks under different names for this purpose had been found.
Approximately, Rs 4 lakh in these bank accounts have been frozen.
In addition, Rs 2.02 lakh cash, 15 mobile phones, 20 SIM cards, two laptops and four dongles were recovered, police said.