New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) Two foreign nationals were arrested for allegedly duping people on the pretext of customs clearance after befriending them on social media, police said on Monday.
The accused have been identified as Benita Gift Agene (27) and Izunna Paul Uzoma (34), natives of Nigeria, they said.
The arrests were made based on a complaint. The complainant alleged that he came into contact with a UK-based woman, Rebecca, on social media. Soon they became friends and started chatting and calling on WhatsApp, police said.
She told the complainant that she was working in the UK and wished to visit historic places in India. She also shared her flight ticket from Heathrow to Mumbai via Dubai with the complainant, a senior police officer said.
On November 20, he received a call from a fake customs officer from Mumbai airport, who told him that Rebecca was facing some document-related issues at the airport for which she needed some money for customs clearance, police said.
They shared bank account details and directed him to deposit money. He refused, but when she started crying and promised to return the money, he agreed and initially paid Rs 50,000, the officer said.
After sometime, the officer again called him, and they forced him to deposit more money in the accounts, following which he deposited around Rs 7,00,000 in different bank accounts on different dates, the officer said.
During investigation, both the accused were arrested, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IFSO) Hemant Tiwari said. The Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations, also known as IFSO, is a specialised unit of the Delhi Police.
Agene revealed that she came to India to study. In 2022, she met Uzoma at a club. He asked her to call the Indian people and develop friendship. They used to send pictures of UK-based women to gain the trust of their prospective targets, the DCP said.
She had travelled to many countries, so she was familiar with the security process at international airports. She used to send fake air tickets to gain their faith and confidence, police said.
The UK number and other things were arranged by Uzoma. They would collect the data of their prospective clients from an application and called the victims from international mobile numbers, police said.
Uzoma revealed that he hails from Nigeria. He came to India in 2016 and started working as an African food supplier in Uttam Nagar. His friend Michael told him that he could earn money if they started duping people using fake social media accounts, police added. PTI NIT CK CK