Two Nigerian nationals have been arrested by the special cyber cell of Kashmir Police in India for defrauding a man of Rs 36.35 lacs in an online scam.
The suspects identified as Isioma Steven and Collins were arrested from Delhi on Wednesday, July 27.
According to Cyber Police Kashmir, a complaint was from a resident of Baramulla regarding online fraud.
The victim came into contact with a female Facebook user, T. Jessica, who was impersonating herself as a purchase manager of a renowned pharmaceutical company.
After some days of chatting on Facebook, the lady convinced the complainant to start a business of kandu nuts, palm seeds, and sea nuts. As the female fraudster was impersonating an official of a pharmaceutical company, she succeeded in her game plan to motivate the complainant to invest in the business.
The woman assured the victim that the nuts are valued very high in the pharmaceutical market owing to their medicinal benefits.
Projecting herself as a well-wisher of the victim, the female fraudster forwarded details of a contact in India namely Jyoti T Kandu from whom he (victim) can purchase the nuts.
Without knowing the plot behind the fraud, the Kashmiri man invested a hefty amount of Rs 36.35 lakh by transferring the amount to different bank accounts of fraudsters for purchasing 50 packets of kandu nuts.
On receiving the consignment of 50 packets of kandu nuts, the complainant received a fake call from the Mumbai Custom office wherein the complainant was directed to deposit more money to be able to sell the kandu nuts to pharmaceutical companies.
This created doubt in the mind of the complainant who tried to contact the provided contact details to verify the facts but he did not get any response and felt cheated/duped by the Facebook user.
The complainant then approached Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone Srinagar and lodged a complaint. Accordingly, a case (FIR No. 23/2022) under relevant sections of law was registered in Cyber Police Station Srinagar, and the investigation was set into motion.
According to the spokesperson of Cyber Crime, "during the investigation, it was found that the fraud had been done by the fraudsters under a highly technically built setup and accordingly the digital footprints of the accused persons involved in the commission of offence were tracked by analysis of bank accounts that have been used for siphoning money of the complainant".
"Besides, CCTV footage and analysis of suspect phone numbers by employing high-end technical investigative skills were also carried out", he said.
Subsequently, two Nigerians were found involved in the offences and were tracked at Vashist Park Sagerpur New Delhi.
After assiduous efforts and with the assistance of Delhi Police, a cyber police team was successful in nabbing the duo. They were identified as Isioma Steven and Collins, residents of Delta Agbor in Nigeria, and at present living at Vashist Park in Delhi.
The rented accommodation was raided and thoroughly searched. During searches, incriminating material including 14 cell phones of different make and models, a laptop, 14 SIM cards, a Wi-Fi router, a Wi-Fi dongle, six debit/credit cards, and 45 packs of kundu nuts/palm nuts were recovered from their possession, the spokesman said.
Investigation into the case is going on in full swing and more recoveries and arrests are expected, he added.