Mumbai police have arrested three men for allegedly duping a 34-year-old woman after befriending her on Facebook. The police believe that the group, comprising a Nalasopara resident and two Nigerians, has duped several other women, from whom they used to take money under the pretext of marrying them. The three accused were arrested on Wednesday.
On April 9, a case was registered by a 34-year-old Khar resident after she had been allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh by a Facebook “friend”. She had earlier filed a complaint in March, following which the case was registered.
In her statement, the complainant said, “In July, 2017 she got a friend request from a Facebook handler named Richard Kelwyn, who had claimed that he was a US national.” The two started chatting on a regular basis and after exchanging numbers, they would frequently talk over the phone.
“Later the Facebook handler started asking for money at regular intervals claiming that it was urgent. The accused then gave her his account number to which the complainant kept transferring money. In around 10 transactions till February, the woman gave him Rs 2.5 lakh,” said an officer. After the accused started ignoring her calls, the woman realised that she had been duped. The complainant then approached Khar police, who started investigating the case.
“After verifying the account number to which the compla-inant had transferred the money, it was found that it belonged to one Shoheb Qureshi. A team was sent and Qureshi was nabbed from his Nalasopara residence on Wednesday. During interrogation, he revealed the identity of his two accomplices, who are Nigerian nationals,” said an officer.
The two Nigerian nationals were arrested and had been identified as Pascal Zumbe (21) and Sande Maze (22), who have been staying in Nalasopara since the last one-and-a-half year. The investigators revealed that the trio have been committing the crime since the last one-and-a-half year. The two Nigerians were the mastermind and would approach women to dupe them, while Qureshi was only given a small percentage of the amount, as they used his bank account.
The accused have been booked under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 417 (punishment for cheating) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian penal Code. The police have recovered four mobile phones, a laptop, three pen drives, seven sim cards and a router from the accused.