A 27-year-old US woman, who came to Delhi on 3 May, allegedly staged her own kidnapping to extort cash from her parents, after she ran out of money, the Delhi police stated.
On 7 July, the woman, Chloe Mclaughlin, called her mother saying she was being assaulted and beaten by a man known to her. Following the call, her mother approached the Indian authorities, and after being intimated by the US embassy, the Delhi Police started investigating the matter.
Three days later, the woman video called her mother on WhatsApp, but the call was cut short when a man entered Mclaughlin’s room, thus raising concerns with the woman’s parents.
To know her whereabouts and locate her, Delhi police used Yahoo.com for the IP address Mclaughlin had used to send an e-mail to American Citizen Services regarding her immigration document work on 9 July. The Bureau of Immigration shared Mclaughlin’s address, which was in Greater Noida, with the police.
The police began to search for her, and raided a hotel where they suspected her to reside through this ordeal, But the hotel staff denied anyone by the name of Mclaughlin staying in the hotel. Delhi police, with the help of investigators, tracked down the IP address and mobile network associated with the IP address from which Mclaughlin had video called her mother, which led them to Okoroafor Chibuike Okoro, 31, a Nigerian national, in Gurugram. Okoro informed the police about Mclaughlin’s Greater Noida location, post which she was apprehended by the police.
Mclaughlin confessed that she had staged her abduction as she had run out of money within a few days of reaching Delhi, following which she and her boyfriend, Okoro, hatched a plan to extort money from her parents, the DCP said.
The woman’s passport had expired on June 6 and her boyfriend’s passport too had run out of validity, police said.
The woman is a graduate of a university in the US, and her father, who lives in Washington DC, is an ex-army officer, they said. She had come to India to stay with Okoro whom she had befriended on Facebook before coming here.
Legal action is being taken against both for overstaying in India without a valid passport and visa, police said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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