Five arrested for duping more than 500 people online

With the arrest of five people, including foreigners, the Delhi Police have busted a gang of international online fraudsters who duped several people after contacting them on social media platforms on the pretext of sending them gifts, the police said on Tuesday.

The police said that the accused cheated more than 500 people online in the last five years.

The accused have been identified as Kamal Kumar alias Abu, a resident of Uttam Nagar; Isaac Chukwuma Okorie, a Nigerian national; Ofosu, a resident of Ghana; Sai Matthew, a resident of Ivory Coast; and Lalrinmawii from Mizoram.

According to Shweta Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), a doctor working with a government hospital had reported that a person named ‘Mark Peterson’ had approached her over Instagram on June 29, presenting himself as a pilot with American Airlines, presently residing in London.

“Later, they exchanged their WhatsApp numbers. He used to send WhatsApp messages to her regularly. In July, he told her that he is coming to India for a tour. On July 25, she received a telephone call saying Mark Peterson had arrived at Mumbai airport and in the name of Customs duty and other charges, the accused cheated her for more than Rs 19 lakh,” said the DCP.

“During investigation, bank details of the beneficiary accounts in which the complainant transferred the money were obtained. They revealed that a large number of transactions were being made in the said bank accounts. Further, it was revealed that the money credited in these accounts was transferred to other bank accounts or withdrawn through ATMs immediately,” said the officer.

“On December 15, on the basis of technical investigation, a police team apprehended accused Kamal, who on interrogation confessed to the crime. At his instance, Isaac, Ofosu, Lalrinmawii and Mathhew were also apprehended from the Tilak Nagar area. Various fake Instagram and Facebook profiles were recovered from the mobile phones and laptops of the accused persons,” the officer said.

On interrogation, the accused disclosed that they used to make fake profiles on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram etc. with different names.

“They met people through these platforms and later exchanged their WhatsApp numbers. After a few days, they would allure them by saying that they will send gifts to them or come to meet them in India. They also created a dummy parcel tracking receipt which they sent to the targeted person to gain confidence,” the DCP said.

“The cheated money was further sent to Nigeria through some intermediary. The victims were from all parts of the country. The accused persons were operational in other Asian countries as well,” Chauhan said.

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