Travelling to foreign countries in search of greener pastures has become a common phenomenon in Nigeria, considering the widespread hardship and other challenges confronting citizens.
Unfortunately, some of those who supposedly travel out of the country in search of better opportunities often resort to crimes abroad. One of the foreign countries where some Nigerians are known for committing crimes is India.
In recent times, the media has been inundated with reports of Nigerians being arrested for various crimes such as trafficking, cyber fraud, among others in India.
Here is a timeline of Nigerians arrested for various crimes in India over the last six months, with some of them sentenced to prison after conviction.
September 30, 2020: The Cyber Crime Cell of the Gurugram Police arrested three Nigerians and their Indian accomplice for allegedly duping a 60-year-old man of Rs 1.24 crore (N64.5 million) in online fraud.
October 12, 2020: A Nigerian, Amachukwu Okkeke, was arrested by the police for his involvement in supplying drugs to youths in Kochi. Okkeke, who is an accused in a drug case registered by the narcotic cell of Goa Police, escaped from Goa during the trial of the case. He was hiding in Bengaluru and was continuing his drug trade under many names from various locations.
October 17, 2020: Utta Pradesh Special Task Force police busted a gang of Nigerians who duped women on matrimonial sites by posing as doctors and engineers. The gang members are Michael Chiyagoziyama, Francis Imeka, Nelson Chiyagoziyama and Patrick Chakodi. Fifty ATM cards, Nigerian currency notes, expired visas, pen drives, laptops, and checkbooks were seized from them. A woman, who lodged a complaint with the police, said she was duped of Rs 7.5 lakh (N3. 8 million) while scouting for a match on a matrimonial website.
November 3, 2020: The Cyberabad police arrested Nonso Chife Kelvin, a professional football player from Nigeria, residing in New Delhi, and three persons, for duping people on the pretext of sending them gifts. They duped someone of 16.74 lakh (N637.8 million).
November 10, 2020: Nigerian man, Fulgence Kuoadia, was arrested after he allegedly duped his 'e-friend’, a Mumbai woman of Rs 7.6 lakh (N3. 9 million). He reportedly allegedly befriended her on social media by posing as a UK-based doctor. He siphoned money from women as Customs clearance fees for gift parcels stuck at the airport or sweet-talked them into parting with their bank account details and ATM cards.
November 24, 2020: A Nigerian, Chibuike Christian Aririegbunamu, and one other person, involved in cheating people from the city, were arrested by the police. They duped many under the pretext of funding charitable works and collected large amounts of money. Police seized card swiping machines and other materials from the arrested persons. Police found that Sonia and the other accused would look out for vulnerable persons on social media platforms and approach them. If anyone showed interest, they would share details of the activities they want to take up in India. They trapped a person from Safilguda and made him pay `29.75 lakh (N1 billion).
December 5, 2020: Six Nigerians were arrested in Navi Mumbai for allegedly living illegally without any valid documents and running a restaurant at a flat in a residential building
December 9, 2020: It was reported that 16 Nigerians and some Bangladeshis were extradited from Karnataka after it was discovered they were illegal residents.
December 10, 2020: A Nigerian simply identified as Morgan was arrested for duping a city-based pastor over Rs 24 lakh (N12.4 million), by posing as a Canadian philanthropist wishing to donate money and masks to pandemic-affected poor of the city.
December 11, 2020: A Nigerian was nabbed alongside two Indians by the Pune cyber crime police for installing skimmers and pinhole cameras at various ATM kiosks in the city. The police recovered Rs 38,000 in cash (N197, 000), 359 cloned cards of various banks, 13 skimmers, 12 digital pinhole cameras, two walkie-talkies, 15 micro-batteries, a card printer, four laptops, and other gadgets from the culprits.
December 22, 2020: Drug peddling – Two Nigerians, Emmanuel Michael and one other were arrested by police with a total of 3,000 yellow and grey-coloured ecstasy pills, weighing 610 gm hidden in layers of table cloth in the parcels. The ecstasy pills and cocaine, which were reportedly received from the Netherlands and Ethiopia through postal parcel service were seized by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The NCB team also recovered 235 grams of cocaine concealed in the inner walls of a corrugated box from another parcel, it said.
December 25, 2020: A 27-year-old Nigerian, who allegedly conned people into fake businesses and robbed them of crores of rupees, was arrested in New Delhi by the Central Crime Branch. The police also identified a gang of seven Nigerians who had cheated businessmen through an online ad portal by striking fake deals.
December 26, 2020: In 2 cases, two Nigerians were arrested with narcotic substance worth over Rs 21 lakh (N10.9 million). While one was reportedly caught with 10g of LSD liquid and 48.6g of cocaine worth Rs15 lakh (N7.7 million), the other was caught with 31g of white powder suspected to be cocaine and 4.4g of brown liquid suspected to be LSD liquid worth Rs 7.6 lakh (N3. 9 million).
December 28, 2020: A 46-year-old Nigerian, Alif Oluwaseun Ibrahim, was arrested in Thiruvanmiyur for possessing 55 grammes of cocaine. He was caught by a special team of the Adyar district police. He was allegedly planning to sell the cocaine, which was packed in 55 sachets. Investigations revealed Alif Oluwasun often flew from Nigeria to Pune, where he bought cocaine in bulk before coming to Chennai by bus to sell each gramme for Rs 6,000-10,000.
January 2, 2021: A Nigerian was arrested by the anti-narcotic cell of Mumbai police with 204g cocaine worth Rs 51 lakh (N26.5 million).
January 8, 2021: A Nigerian, Chijioke, and four others were arrested for allegedly duping a woman of Rs 7 lakh (N3.6 million) in southwest Delhi's Kishangarh area.
According to the Police, preliminary interrogation revealed that Chijioke and his brother Frank Obinna were the kingpins of this gang.
January 17, 2021: A Nigerian, Paul Chigbata Onuoroh was nabbed by the Narcotics Control Bureau while in possession of 474 grams of Mephedrone and 38 grams of Hashish worth (N25.9 million).
January 19, 2021: Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested a Nigerian, Ifeanyichukwu Pius who swallowed 12gm of cocaine to evade arrest. Upon sighting the officers, he swallowed the cocaine which was concealed in plastic pellets weighing nearly 1 g.
January 21, 2021: A Nigerian, Francis Emeka Duruobas, was arrested by the cyber cell of the UT police for duping a man of Rs 14 lakh (N7.2 million) on the pretext of getting a courier. Duruobasi got onto his victim, Sadho Singh of Sector 21 via Facebook messenger.
January 23, 2021: A Bhopal-based hotelier was duped to the tune of Rs 11.23 lakh (N5.8 million) after he received a friend request from a Nigerian fraudster on Facebook.
February 1, 2021: Again, a 37-year-old Nigerian, was caught red-handed with LSD liquid worth Rs 2.7 lakh (N1.4 million) in Siolim, in 2015. He was however sentenced to 10 years in prison in February for being in possession of commercial quantities of narcotics.
February 1, 2021: A Nigerian man and his four accomplices were arrested for allegedly duping women on matrimonial sites. A woman lodged a complaint with police that she had been duped of Rs 7 lakh (N3.6 million) by the accused. Fifteen passbooks, 23 checkbooks and other documents used for transferring money were seized from their possession.
February 3, 2021: A Nigerian was arrested alongside seven others in connection with an inter-state cyber fraud running into lakhs. The accused and their aides would call up people across India, posing as bank officers, and seek vital bank details to update KYCs. With this, they transferred money into their accounts. The police said that the gang operated 27 bank accounts and that the Nigerian is likely to be one of the key individuals in the scam.
February 6, 2021: A Nigerian identified as David was arrested by the Telangana police for allegedly carrying out online crimes to the tune of N12.5 million from his rented apartment in Nalasopara (east). The police had arrested him during a routine raid in his area aimed at clamping down on Nigerians with no valid visas.
February 6, 2021: A Nigerian and two Ugandan sisters were arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs and 8kg of heroin worth Rs 40 crore (N2 billion) and 1 kg of cocaine worth 10 crore (N38 billion).
February 7, 2021: Five Nigerians, namely Akpalu Godstime, Adjel Gift Osas, Nkeki Confidence David, P Kromah Oyibo, and Ehigiator Daniel were arrested for duping unsuspecting victims. They reportedly used the Dingtone app, which helped display their targeted country code, to cheat their victims. The accused persons had come to India on business visas and were residing in Delhi. The gang was involved in more than 20 cases in Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda commissionerates.
February 9, 2021: Customs duty fraud: Nigerian man was arrested by the police for duping a woman of Rs 10 lakh (N5. 1 million)
February 14, 2021: Two Nigerians, John Egwuatu Chinedu (28) and Vincent Ejimofor (37), were arrested for drug peddling after they were caught with a stash of cocaine and ecstasy valued at Rs 15 lakh (N7.7 million). A team from the Anti-Narcotics Wing of the CCB searched a house rented by John, seizing 60 g of cocaine and 10 g of ecstasy, and arrested them for storing and selling drugs.
March 1, 2021: A Nigerian, Prince Chukwama Hezekiah was arrested by police officers in the Junagadh district of India in connection with an online cheating scam of Rs 1.32 crore (N 68.5 million) with a Mendarda-based person. Police said that the accused also confessed to having committed three more crimes of similar nature in Gurugram, Rajasthan, and Mumbai. Police prepared a list of mobile numbers and bank account numbers through which the accused gang were siphoning money from online victims.