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10 Nigerians arrested in fake fund transfer case

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Ten Nigerians have been arrested from in a fake fund transfer case wherein a city- based nurse was allegedly cheated of Rs 9.37 lakh, a senior police official said today.

The police in Rachakonda here have also found that the arrested Nigerians had cheated several people across the country after fraudulently collecting money online from them.

According to Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat, in November last year, the victim, aged around 36 years and working as a nurse in a hospital in Secunderabad, received an 'add friend' request on her profile from one "Agustin Williams".

After befriending the woman, the man told her he wants to send her and expensive gifts. To receive these gifts he asked her to deposit "registration fee".

"She accepted his request. The person chatting with her on the messenger introduced himself as Williams, staying at Northern Ireland and working as a pastor.

"After chatting with her for 2-3 months, he told her he wanted to help her by sending a gift box containing USD 50,000 besides an I-Phone, watch and gold through courier, the commissioner said, quoting from a complaint filed by the nurse.

On March 15 this year, she received a phone call and the caller identified himself as a customs officer working at the airport and told her to deposit Rs 27,500 in a bank account as registration fee to collect the courier.

After that, she received many calls asking her to deposit money in different bank accounts citing various reasons such as customs clearance charges, money laundering certificate, RBI clearance, anti-terrorism clearance and fund transfer charges to collect the courier, Bhagwat said.

"Over a period of time, they (the accused) collected Rs 9.37 lakh from her under previous pretext. As their demand for money continued, she got suspicious and approached the Cyber Cell of Rachakonda Commissionerate recently," he said.

Based on her complaint, a case under relevant sections of the IPC and IT Act was registered and an inquiry was launched, the senior police official said.

"Based on technical/electronic evidence collected during the investigation, the fraudsters' place of residence was traced in South West

"A team of the Rachakonda police raided their premises last week and arrested the 10 Nigerians, including the prime accused Williams, and brought them to Hyderabad," he said.

The police also seized eight laptops, 26 cellphones, 10 internet dongles, 35 SIM cards and other incriminating material from their possession, the commissioner said.

After their interrogation and analysis of the items seized from them, it has been established they had cheated several people in a similar fashion in various parts of the country.

The victims belong to states like Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, among others, Bhagwat said, adding, "Efforts are being made to contact them.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 11 2017. 21:42 IST