African national arrested for customs clearance swindle

- August 25, 2022
| By : Patriot Bureau |

A 36-year-old African national was apprehended for allegedly duping mutiple women after befriending them online under false names and requesting them to pay for customs clearance under the guise of receiving gifts, police said on Thursday

Photo: Pixabay

The accused has been identified as Paul Ofori, a resident of Nigeria, as per the police.

On 25 July, a complaint was received from a woman alleging that she had met with a doctor Henry Patrick on social media. They became friends and started chatting, police said.

During one of their conversations, the person told her that he was sending her some gifts. She received a call and the caller introduced herself as a custom officer. The officer informed her that a parcel addressed to her has been received that needs custom clearance, a senior police officer said.

She was asked to pay Rs 25,000 as customs charges to receive the parcel. The complainant transferred the amount, but no parcel was delivered to her. When she was approached for more money for customs clearance, the woman filed the complaint, the officer said.

The investigation found that the IP addresses used for the social media accounts were from Nigeria. The call detail records of the mobile numbers provided by the complainant were obtained and the IMEI search triangulated the location of the mobile phone to Nilothi Extension, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Amrutha Guguloth stated.

Police conducted raid in Chander Vihar, Nilothi Extension and found the accused. The mobile phone used for the crime was recovered from his possession. He also had other mobile phones and laptops, containing crime-related data, the DCP said.

The accused revealed that the he and his business partners used to create fake social media profiles and used the name of doctors settled in the United Kingdom. Then, they would connect with Indian women through social media platforms, police said.

After alluring them of sending expensive gifts, they sought money on the pretext of customs clearance at the Indian airport. He also provided names of his associates, who arranged the bank accounts for siphoning off the cheated amount, Guguloth said.

Police added that after the analysis of accused’s mobile phones and the details gathered in interrogation, around 20 women victims have been identified, and eight bank accounts employed for depositing cheated money have also been pinned down.

(With inputs from PTI)


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