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Expensive gifts scam: Nigerian scammers arrested for duping Indian woman on dating app

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 12 March 2023, 14:54 IST
Dating apps scam

Delhi police have arrested two Nigerian men for allegedly cheating a woman in the national capital on the pretext of clearing customs fees for valuable items, officials said on Sunday.

The accused have been identified as Alex (30), a resident of City Bein, Edo state, Nigeria, and Ibeh (45), a resident of Oduduwa street, Lagos, Nigeria. They were arrested from Greater Noida, officials said.

The Complaint
"On February 2, 2023, Delhi police received a complaint from a 24-year-old woman alleging that she met a person namely Aman Arora on a matrimonial site who introduced himself as a marine engineer in the UK. After that, they started chatting on WhatsApp," the police said.

The Modus Operandi
According to the police, the accused shared an airline ticket from London to Mumbai with the complainant. On 01.02.2023, the complainant received a call from a person claiming to be an officer from Mumbai airport who said that Aman Arora had been detained as he was carrying 40,000 pounds with him. The complainant paid Rs 8,500 for registration of valuable articles as requested by the officer, officials said.

The Scam
The complainant made several payments subsequently amounting to a total of Rs 4 lakh on different pretexts whenever asked by the alleged custom officer. After that, she became suspicious and filed a complaint. Accordingly, a case under sections 419/420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered, and the investigation was taken up.

The Investigation
To solve the case and nab the criminals involved, a special team was constituted. During the investigation, based on technical analysis of mobile numbers and IPs, it was learned that the gang was operating from Greater Noida. Local intelligence was also developed on the suspects, and it was discovered that the suspects were Nigerian nationals and resided in rented accommodations in Greater Noida.

The Arrests
"With the information gathered at the ground level and technical support, the location/address of the suspect was identified, and a raid was conducted in a society in Greater Noida. One accused person was apprehended who revealed his identity as Alex. The mobile phone used in the crime was recovered from his possession. He was arrested accordingly," said the police.

"On sustained interrogation, the accused Alex disclosed that he came to India on medical visa in 2020. With the help of his associates, he started cheating by making fake marriage proposals or sending expensive gifts. They created fake profiles on social media in the name of persons settled in the UK using fake pics of them. Then they contacted Indian ladies through social media apps. After proposing them for marriage and luring them in the name of expensive gifts, they asked for money under the pretext of custom clearances," the police added.

Further Arrests
According to police reports, the accused had created a profile in the name of Aman Arora at a matrimonial site in this particular case. After that, during chatting, they lured her for marriage and to settle in the USA. His other associate, Ibeh, used to manage bank accounts for siphoning off the cheated amount.

Accordingly, during police custody remand, another accused namely Ibeh was also arrested from Greater Noida. The mobile phone used in the crime, three ATM cards, and cash amounting to Rs 10,500 were recovered from his possession.

Both accused came to India on medical visas, the police said, adding that further investigation into the case is ongoing.

First published: 12 March 2023, 14:53 IST