Saturday, April 10, 2021

Romance scam: 37-year-old Nigerian nabbed in India 


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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A Nigerian man has been arrested in India for being the leader of a crime gang which duped a woman of over Rs7 lakh (over three million Naira) after befriending her on a dating app by posing as a US citizen.

The 37-year-old Chijioke was identified as the racket kingpin, while Prakash Gurung, Paras Mehto, Ankit (all from Nepal), and Vinay Kumar, from Champaran in Bihar, were also arrested in relation to the crime.

Mr Chijioke and his brother Frank Obinna ran the racket while Prakash brought people from Nepal and opened their accounts in various banks using fake IDs prepared by Vinay.

Police received a complaint from a woman who said that she had accessed a profile in the name of Dr Vijay Giri on an online dating app.

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According to her, she became friends with the account holder and began chatting with him on WhatsApp.

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The report said: “The person posing as Dr Giri claimed that he was a US Citizen but based in the UK and wanted to meet her.

“He also asked her to look for some house in Delhi for his stay.

“After around 10 months, the woman received calls from ‘Dr Giri’ that he had landed in Mumbai but was stuck with Customs officials for carrying foreign currency and extra luggage and hence needed money to pay fine and bribe.

“On request, she transferred funds in various bank accounts as directed. She was thus cheated of approximately Rs 7 lakh.

“During investigation, police analysed the details of five bank accounts in which the funds were transferred. It was found that all the accounts were in five different names.”

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According to the police, one of the account holders was an African national.

The officer said it was found that the accused had opened new accounts and their credit or debit cards were being delivered to them at an address in the CR Park area.

“On Friday, a raid was conducted in the CR Park area and three Nepalese nationals were apprehended.

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“Based on their disclosure, Kumar, who used to prepare fake IDs for them, was also arrested from Rajender Nagar,” deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Ingit Pratap Singh said.

Further investigation led to the arrest of Chijioke, police said while preliminary interrogation revealed that Chijioke and his brother Frank Obinna were the kingpin of this gang.

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Further investigations revealed that Gurung brought people from Nepal and opened accounts in various banks in their names using fake IDs prepared by Kumar, the DCP said.

The DCP added that the team also procured sim cards on those fake Indian IDs while the kingpin gave Rs 1 lakh for arranging one fake account holder from Nepal.

The debit cards of the newly opened bank accounts were then given to the kingpin who used these accounts to cheat people, the police said.

The Police noted that it had recovered 12 passbooks of different banks, 11 debit cards, seven cheque books, eight mobile phones, nine Aadhar cards, seven pan cards, one printer, one stolen scooter and other items from their possession.

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