Three foreigners arrested from Delhi for online con: UP cops

Noida/Raebareli, Dec 23 (PTI) With the arrest of three Nigerian nationals from Delhi, the Uttar Pradesh police claimed to have busted a gang of cheats involved in duping Indians through social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

The arrest was made from outer Delhi by a team of Raebareli police with the help of Lucknow unit of the state’s Special Task Force (STF) on Thursday, officials said.

Circle Officer (Raebareli City) Vandana Singh said the breakthrough came when the district police was probing a case of online fraud in which a woman had claimed con worth Rs 32 lakh.

Those held have been identified as Okou Christian, Labaye Ke Justin and Nnalue Hycienth Chukwunonso, all citizens of Nigeria, who had come to India two years ago and were staying on rent in Nilothi Extension area of outer Delhi, she said.

“The accused told police that they had set up a system in their rented accomodation in Delhi from where they targeted people online through websites like Facebook, Instagram or even Whatsapp,” the Raebareli police said.

“The gang would create fake profiles and reach out to people, luring them into long chats and conversations. Their fake profiles would have pictures of foreigners along with names and other details, saying they are from the UK, the US, or any other developed country,” the police said in a statement.

After establishing a connect with the victims, the accused would tell the target that they are sending them expensive gifts, police said, revealing the gang’s modus operandi.

Eventually they would call the person using an Indian alibi, saying a gift has reached Delhi in their name and contains some jewellery or foreign currency, but could only be cleared against a certain amount of processing fee – which ranged from thousands to lakhs, as in the case of the Raebareli woman, who claimed con amounting to Rs 32 lakh with her, the police added.

The police have seized five laptops, three internet modems, 10 mobile phones, nine sim cards, some artificial jewellery, among other items from their possession, officials said.

An FIR under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 467, 468 , 471 (all related to forgery) and under the Information Technology Act was lodged against them at the Mill Area Police Station in Raebareli, they added.

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