A 36-year-old Nigerian man, Paul Ofori has been arrested in Delhi for allegedly duping Indian women after befriending them online using fake identities and asking them to pay for customs clearance on the pretext of receiving gifts, police said on Thursday, August 25.
Police said that on July 25, a complaint was received from a woman alleging that she had met with one doctor Henry Patrick on social media. They became friends and started chatting.
During one of their conversations, the person told her that he was sending her some gifts. She received a call and the caller introduced herself as a custom officer.
The fake officer informed her that a parcel addressed to her has been received that needs custom clearance, a senior police officer said.
In order to receive the parcel, she was asked to pay Rs 25,000 as customs charges. The complainant transferred the amount, but no parcel was delivered to her.
When she was again asked for more money for customs clearance, the woman lodged the complaint, the officer said.
During investigation, it was revealed that the IP addresses used for the social media accounts were from Nigeria.
The call detail records of the mobile numbers provided by the complainant were obtained and the IMEI search triangulated the location of the mobile phone to Nilothi Extension, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Amrutha Guguloth said.
Police conducted raid in Chander Vihar, Nilothi Extension and found Ofori. The mobile phone used in the crime was recovered from his possession, along with other mobile phones and laptops, containing data related to the crime, the DCP said.
The accused disclosed that the he and his associates used to create fake social media profiles in the name of doctors settled in the United Kingdom. Thereafter, they would contact Indian women through social media platforms.
After luring them over sending expensive gifts, they asked for money on the pretext of customs clearance at the Indian airport.
He also provided names of his associates, who arranged the bank accounts for siphoning off the cheated amount, Guguloth said.
After the analysis of accused’s mobile phones and the details provided during interrogation, around 20 women victims have been identified and eight bank accounts used for depositing cheated money have also been identified.