A recent news report has revealed that a Nigerian national, identified as Chibaka alias Tall Issa, along with three Delhi residents, Aman Kumar, Rahul Singh, and Santosh Kumar, have been arrested by Indian police for allegedly cheating several Indian women on dating app. According to investigators, the suspects posed as doctors, engineers, and IT professionals to connect with women on several dating app and took money from them on the pretext of clearing customs fees for gifts.
The cybercrime team of Gurugram police recovered 25 mobile phones, 65 ATM cards, 34 cheque books, and 12 passbooks from the fraudsters. Assistant commissioner of police (cyber) Priyanshu Diwan revealed that the suspects had formed a gang and were operating from Delhi in the last few months. The Nigerian national was reportedly the kingpin of the gang and met the other suspects in the Laxmi Nagar area of Delhi. They used to scan profiles of the victims on matrimonial sites and later befriended them on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
The culprits were caught after a 36-year-old woman complained on March 22 that she was duped of ₹16 lakh (about N9m). The woman alleged that on January 26 this year, she received a friend request on Instagram in which the person introduced himself as a doctor living in the United Kingdom. “We exchanged our numbers and started chatting on WhatsApp. The suspect said he would be sending some gold items and £20,000. On January 30, I received a call from a woman who introduced herself as an employee of a courier company in Mumbai and said that gold and foreign currency had arrived in my name,” said Sampa Pal, a resident of DLF Phase-4.
The woman asked the victim to deposit ₹55,000 as tax and after receiving the money, she again asked to deposit ₹3,27,920. Again, on February 2, the suspect asked her to deposit ₹3 lakh followed by ₹2.98 lakh. “It did not stop here and in total I deposited ₹16 lakh within a week and realized that I had been cheated as they were asking me to deposit another ₹7.26 lakh,” said Pal.
After conducting an investigation, a case was registered under Section 120 B (conspiracy), 419 (impersonating), and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Cyber Crime police station on February 17. The police traced the internet protocol addresses of the suspects, and a raid was conducted by a team led by Jasvir Singh, station house officer of the Cyber Crime police station, and the suspects were arrested from different places in Delhi on Wednesday night.
The police said the gang had opened more than 100 bank accounts that were used by them to transfer money. One of them used to withdraw money through ATMs from different areas and many times travelled to another city to evade being identified by police. The suspects were cheating women for months in the name of sending/receiving gifts. In many cases, the victims received calls from Mumbai airport officials who told them that their friend had been detained for carrying pounds/US dollars and expensive gifts. They were asked to pay money in lakhs to “register” the valuables. The victims were then asked to spend more money in the name of securing the gifts and freeing their friends.
The arrest of these individuals serves as a reminder to everyone to be careful while using online dating app and social media platforms. It is always better to exercise caution and not trust strangers easily, especially when it comes to financial matters. The police have advised people to report such incidents immediately and avoid sharing their personal and financial details with anyone online.