A 32-year-old Nigerian national has been arrested for allegedly duping people of huge sums by impersonating customs officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in India, the police said.
According to NDTV, the accused identified as Christian Anthony Maduneme with his associate, Shelly Achhumi (41), an Indian, duped several people after approaching them for money to clear parcel and courier.
Two laptops, seven mobile phones, SIM cards, pass books, eight ATM cards were retrieved from the accused and efforts are being made to trace their other accomplices, police said.
Their activities came to police's notice Vinod Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Customs, IGI Airport, made a complaint alleging that several phone calls were being received at the customs office on a daily basis, claiming that customs officers are asking for money to clear parcel and courier.
The accused used names and letter heads of various senior officials to cheat the people.
Senior police official (Airport) Rajeev Ranjan said, “During investigation, we collected all relevant information. On September 6, Shelly Achhumi, who had accounts with HDFC and ICICI banks, was traced and later arrested. She provided her account information to dupe the targets of the money by charging eight per cent commission from the other accused.
"She used to work in an NGO but had no source of income since the Coronavirus-triggered lockdown came into force. She started providing her bank account details to only fraudsters to gain commission," he said.
The officer added that Shelly Achhumi would befriend the target before cheating them.
In one of such cases, Shelly contacted the victim through a matrimonial site and got the personnel mobile number, Facebook ID and WhatsApp number of one Subir Bose.
“Shelly started contacting the male victim over the phone. She used the fake identity of Anita Saha (from Amsterdam) and said she desired to visit India for marriage-cum-tourism purpose.
“Upon arrival in India, she told him that she had been intercepted by custom officials at the IGI Airport for carrying articles and jewelleries beyond the permissible limit. Maduneme then posed as custom officials and directed the victim to pay a custom fee of ? 47,900 and other subsequent amount in Indian bank accounts. Later, the accused demanded more money on different grounds.
“The target ended up depositing huge amounts of money in different Indian bank accounts as provided by the gang members. The accused have duped the victim in excess of ? 69 lakh so far,” Kumar said.