Hyderabad: Three persons, including two Nigerian nationals and a woman belonging to Nagaland were arrested from Bengaluru for allegedly cheating a local woman of Rs 3.5 lakh under the pretext of sending her a gift parcel, police said on Monday,PTI reports.
Police suspect that at least 35 members from different parts of India and about 20 persons from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Estonia have fallen into their trap.
“After few days, they exchanged their WhatsApp numbers and began talking over WhatsApp calls. The conman told the lady that he is a wealthy American and wants to invest in India with her help. On September 12, he called her up saying that he has sent her a parcel through courier,” Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said.
After two days, the woman received a call from a lady who introduced herself as a Customs officer working at New Delhi airport and inquired whether she is expecting any parcel from US, he said.
The ‘officer’ further informed the woman the ‘parcel’ contains a cheque of USD 5 lakh, diamond jewellery, iPhone, laptop, and other gift items. “The fraudsters sent emails to the victim under the guise of Customs department and asked her to pay charges towards customs clearance, anti-terrorism certificate, United Nations Money Laundering certificate etc.
“Believing their version and as per their instruction, she deposited Rs 3.5 lakh in the bank account numbers provided by them. However, after they demanded another Rs 3.2 lakh, the woman grew suspicious and filed a complaint with police,” Bhagwat said. A case was registered and the trio were arrested during the course of investigation.
They are identified as Simon EbukaUmebee, who is a ring leader, and Okonkwo–both Nigerian nationals–and Changkhumla who hails from Nagaland. According to police, Simon and Okonkwo came to New Delhi in 2013 on a two-month business visa and after its expiry created a fake Indian visa.
The duo were presently staying in Bengaluru with Changkhumla. Simon posed himself as a white US citizen in his profile photo and had been communicating with victims, police said.
The police commissioner said that at least 35 members from different parts of India and about 20 persons from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Estonia have fallen into their trap.
As per the initial probe, Simon was constructing a villa in Lagos. The arrested trio were produced before a local court here today, which remanded them in judicial custody.