India police arrests 3 Nigerians for defrauding over 1,000 people on matrimonial sites

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Police in India announced on Monday, May 30 the arrest of three Nigerian men for allegedly defrauding over 1,000 people of multiple crores of rupees using matrimony sites and social media platforms over the last eight years.

Paul Onyeji Atuh, Samuel Aniagor, and Charles Pous Chukwuebuka have been named as the suspects.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Shweta Chauhan, the gang had also been duping people from other Asian countries.

The case was brought to light after a Central Delhi resident submitted a complaint with the National Cyber Crime Portal, alleging that she had been defrauded of Rs55,900.

According to the complainant, she met someone through a matrimonial website. He said his name was Ankit Verma and that he was a doctor from Canada. They swapped phone numbers and began communicating over WhatsApp, according to Chauhan.

The guy informed the complaint that he had landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on December 22, 2021, but that he had been detained by customs agents for having a large amount of Canadian dollars.

“Then, from a different phone number, a lady called the complainant and told her that Verma had been detained at the airport and that they needed to pay? 55,900 to get him out.”

“The complainant transferred the money to the lady’s bank account in two instalments,” the DCP stated.

“The lady then demanded Rs1,50,000, claiming that the funds were required to secure clearance from the Ministry of Finance. When the complaint recognized something wasn’t right, he or she refused to pay any further money “According to Chauhan.

The police discovered a considerable number of transactions from the account to which the complainant had sent the money throughout the inquiry, she claimed.

“Furthermore, funds credited to these accounts were transferred to other bank accounts or withdrawn immediately through ATMs.” To cycle the money, many bank accounts were formed in the names of various people.

“Bank account information was gathered from a variety of banks. The teams gathered ATM surveillance footage from which the money was withdrawn. “We also did a CDR analysis on mobile phones,” the officer added.

During interrogation, the defendants admitted to creating fake profiles on numerous matrimony sites and social media platforms in order to defraud individuals, according to Chauhan.

The accused used to win over their targets by informing them that they had sent presents or that they were flying down for a meeting, according to the DCP.

“They used to make dummy parcel tracking receipts as well. After three to four days, one of their gang members pretended to be a customs official or an airport authority officer and called the targets “she stated

“The accused would then claim that the parcel included dollars or pounds, and that the recipient would have to pay customs duty and conversion fees in order to receive it. After the money was received, they would make a new demand for more money “the officer clarified

In December 2020, one of the three accused entered India illegally across the Bangladesh border. He had been living in Greater Noida since then, she alleged, and was apprehended there.

According to police, 25 bank accounts were created for the purpose at several banks under various names.

Approximately Rs 4 lakh was frozen in these bank accounts. In addition, the accused was found with Rs2.02 lakh in cash, 15 mobile phones, 20 SIM cards, two computers, and four dongles.

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