The notorious gang have been operating for two years and have duped people of 3 crore rupees. Rich and educated people from big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur and many other places had fallen victims to their allurement and deposited lakhs of rupees, police said.
The thugs frequently changed their locations to evade arrest. Presently, they had been operating from Mumbai before falling in the police net, the gang befriended their victims on social networking sites before playing their tricks, police said. The gang had purchased ready made garments from the duped money and dispatched to Nigeria through air cargo.
The two Nigerian suspects Victor alias Kalvin and Idumi Charles, along with their aid Prema Das Soni were arrested from Virar in Mumbai while two men Sandip Mahindra and Naresh Pancholi both residents of Udaipur were held for aiding them.
Prema was in a live-in-relationship with a Nigerian citizen who introduced her to Victor and Charles. Surprisingly, Victor even had a voter identity card which is issued only to Indian citizens. The card reflects a Hyderabad address. The Nigerian Embassy has been informed about the arrest, police said.
“We had a tip from our informer that Sandip and Naresh were into some illegal activity. When we interrogated them we realized they were part of an international racket that committed online frauds through various means. These two men operated bank accounts in Udaipur and transferred money which were deposited in these accounts from all over India by victims who were lured into lucrative deals by the masterminds.
Speaking to reporters, Udaipur SP Rajendra Prasad Goyal said the bank account holders were mostly less educated people who didn’t knew what was being done with their account, they were paid petty amount in return of sharing the details. Police has seized 11 Lakh rupees cash, 7 kilo silver, 20 gram gold biscuit, many ATM cards, signed cheque books from Sandip and Naresh’s custody.
” For the first time, police took initiation to crack the case. A special team was formed and we played the victims by posing as their client and engaged them into prolonged chatting sessions to get their details” said Chandra Purohit, Circle Inspector of Ambamata police station.
The perpetrators used the social media platform mainly Facebook and Whatsapp to earn confidence of people. They played various tricks on people once they initiated conversation or stroke friendship with them. At times they posted attractive advertisements of selling products like branded clothes, home equipment at discounted prices.
When enquiries poured in, they would contact the clients through text messages and ask to deposit money at certain account numbers. Once they got the money, they would terminate communications with the person forever.
“When one of our men befriended the woman, she made a story of having trapped in an emergency situation on a ship, which she said had been attacked by pirates. She asked for financial aid from the cop assuming that he had believed her story” Purohit said.
Another trick would be of posing as good Samaritan and offering gifts. When someone agreed to accept the gift, they would be asked to pay for the custom duty for the parcel.
Source: Times of India