Hyderabad: The Rachakonda cyber crime police arrested three Nigerians for cheating a person to the tune of over Rs. 4 lakhs.
According to the police, in November 2020 the victim met an unknown female, Sophia Alex, on Facebook and the two started chatting via WhatsApp and voice calls. Sophia Alex told the victim that she was from Australia and now lived in London. She also claimed that she had a daughter.
Sophia told the victim she was visiting Hyderabad in a few days. One day, she told him that she had arrived in Mumbai. Then he received a call from a woman who claimed to be a Customs officer in Mumbai. She said that Mrs. Sophia Alex has brought £75,000 cash, gold, and mobile phones. She asked the victim to transfer money towards yellow taxes and other charges. The victim transferred a total of ₹4,83,000 in multiple transactions. Later, he realised he had been cheated and approached the Rachakonda cyber crime police.
Based on his complaint a case was registered under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act on 28 November.
During the course of the investigation, the police identified the fraudsters in New Delhi and raided their premises and arrested them. The five accused have been identified as Akpalu Godstime (26), Adjel Gift Osas (27), P. Ehigiator Daniel (29), Nkeki Confidence David (27), and P. Kromah Oyibo N (24). All of them are from Nigeria. They were brought to Hyderabad on transit remand and produced in court for judicial custody.
Five mobile phones, five passports, Wifi broadband router, and other incriminating materials were also seized.
Akpalu Godstime arrived in New Delhi on 14 March 2019 on a tourist visa that was later renewed to a business visa. He had created several Facebook profiles with fake details and sent friend requests to several persons. In this way he had had contacted the victim pretending to be Ms. Sophia Alex.
Adjel Gift arrived in New Delhi on 11 January 2020 on a e-visa/tourist visa which was found to be expired now. Nkeki Confidence David, meanwhile, landed in New Delhi on 16 September 2019 on a business visa while P. Kromah Oyibo N. arrived in New Delhi on 12 January 2020 on a e-visa/tourist visa which has expired now. Ehigiator Daniel, meanwhile, arrived at New Delhi's IGI airport on 21 July 2019 on a medical visa. He suffers from arthritis.
The police found that the accused were involved in three more cases registered at Hyderabad cyber crime police station. They also found that the fraudsters are using Dingtone app to display their targeted country code to cheat people.
The Rachakonda cyber crime police have issued an advisory advising people not to believe in unknown messages or friend requests on Facebook or download any application without knowing its purpose and genuineness. Do not transfer money to unknown persons' as your account may be hacked by fraudsters through applications which you download without your knowledge, the advisory further read.