The Faridabad police in India have arrested a Nigerian man, Chinonso Roy Akata who lives in Tuglakabad in New Delhi and three others for allegedly defrauding people online.
They were arrested last weekend.
Akata and his accomplices, according to the Hindustan Times News, are using social networking sites to dupe people after befriending them.
Police said that the suspects were active in Delhi-NCR for the last one year and at least 50 cases were registered against the gang.
Other suspects are Akata’s woman friend, Sageeta, Ajay Kumar of Bihar who lives on rent in Jasola, New Delhi, and Atif Ali of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, also a resident of Delhi.
Police sources revealed that Akata who is in his late thirties and Sangeeta were in a live-in relationship.
The suspects would befriend people on Facebook and then convince them to transfer money on the pretext of sending them costly gifts and foreign currency, said police, adding that all the suspects were arrested from Delhi.
According to the Faridabad police, they received a complaint from a 28-year-old engineer working at a private company in the city alleging that he was duped of ₹5.78 lakh (N3,182,569.21) by a woman who befriended him online in October.
Narender Kadiyan, deputy commissioner of police (crime), Faridabad, said that the Nigerian national with the help of a Delhi woman formed a gang and started duping people after creating fake profiles.
“Akata and Sangeeta created fake social media profiles and befriended people by posing as women. They would tell the victims that they are visiting India along with their siblings to meet them to finalise the wedding. Later, the victims used to receive calls from a man posing as a customs officer who would inform them that the duo are caught with valuables worth several lakhs of rupees and they have to pay customs duty for their release,” he said.
Police said that Akata’s bank account had transactions worth ₹65 lakh in the past two months.
Basant Kumar, station house officer of Faridabad cyber police station, said the suspects used to tell their victims that they would get precious gifts as a token of friendship or would propose them for marriage.
The SHO said that Ajay would provide Sangeeta and Akata SIM cards to make calls to dupe people, and Ali opened accounts for them to transfer money. “All the suspects were taken on seven-day police remand on Sunday after being produced before the court,” he said.
After an investigation by the cyber cell, an FIR was registered on Sunday at Faridabad cyber police station.
“Our cyber police team put the suspects’ numbers on surveillance and their locations were traced, following which they were arrested,” said SHO Kumar.
The passport of Akata who came to India on a student visa had expired six months ago and he was staying in India illegally, police said.