A 38-year-old homemaker from south Mumbai approached J J Marg police last month after she was allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 4.5 lakh by two persons. On Tuesday, the police registered an FIR and are investigating the case. Sumaiya Momeen, a resident of Bismil House at J J Marg, allegedly paid the amount towards custom duty for a gift that had been sent to her from New York.
The police said a person, with the name of Max Johanx, sent her a friend request on Facebook on September 12. An officer from J J Marg police station said: “They started chatting on Facebook following which they shared phone numbers with each other. Johanx said he wanted to donate money for cancer patients in India. He claimed that his wife died due to cancer so, he wanted to provide medical treatment for cancer patients. On September 18, Johanx claimed that he was sending gifts from New York and asked the woman to donate the gifts to an NGO.
In the last week of September, a woman, posing as a custom officer from Delhi, called up the victim and asked her to pay duty for the gifts. “The victim consulted the New York man, who assured her that he would repay the amount to her. Momeen then paid Rs 4.5 lakh (through online transfers) in three installments,” said an officer.
Later, when the woman who posed as a custom officer called Momeen again and demanded Rs 5 lakh more to issue an “Anti-Terrorism certificate”, the victim grew suspicious. “She informed her husband about the incident and approached J J Marg police station. She submitted a written application in November and after preliminary investigations, we registered the case,” an officer said.
The woman, in her statement to the police, said she gave the money she and her husband had been saving for their son’s education. Apart from that, Momeen’s relative lent her some money. The case has been registered under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian penal Code, along with Sections 66 (B) and (C) under Information Technology Act.