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Gujarat: Probe launched after businessman ‘loses Rs 46 lakh’ for ginseng seeds in online fraud

According to police, an FIR was lodged at the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime police station after a complaint by Bhavdeep Kumar Goswami, a resident of Sola in Ahmedabad, who is a businessman in the construction industry.

To facilitate this, a list of representatives from Twitter, Facebook and other app and website-based organisations has been passed on to police stations in the eight districts.

Police have launched an investigation after a 35-year-old Ahmedabad-based businessman lost Rs 46.8 lakh in an online scam allegedly involving foreign citizens.

According to police, an FIR was lodged at the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime police station after a complaint by Bhavdeep Kumar Goswami, a resident of Sola in Ahmedabad, who is a businessman in the construction industry.

According to Goswami, he lost Rs 46.5 lakh to a gang impersonating as businessmen involved in the import export of Ginseng Wildly Stratified seeds (Ashvagandha), a herb used in ayurvedic medicines.

“In April-end this year, I was contacted on mail by a person named David Tame, who asked me if I am interested in the business of import export of Ginseng seeds as he would like to involve a distributor. When I showed my interest, he gave me the contact of one Manoj Kumar from Mumbai, whom he claimed as his distributor in India,” the businessman said in his complaint.

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He added that according to David Tame, Goswami was supposed to purchase ginseng seeds from Kumar, package it and sell it to David for 6,500 US dollars per seed. “David then asked me to procure four sample seeds from Kumar… so I contacted him and paid Rs 8 lakh initially for four samples. By the end of April, I received the four samples at my address,” his complaint added.

According to Goswami, “David asked me to go to Delhi to meet his brother Rollin and show him the samples. So on April 30, I travelled to Delhi with my cousin and stayed at a hotel in Aerocity area… I met a person named Rollin, who introduced himself as a citizen of Nigeria and I gave him all four samples. I then received a call from David next day who informed me that the samples have been approved and asked me to purchase 46 more seeds.”

Goswami who contacted Manoj for seeds was told to pay at least 40 per cent amount as advance. “So I paid Rs 38 lakh in various installments to Manoj in May month. However after the payment, I did not receive any consignment and phones of both Manoj and David are off,” said the businessman.

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Police said that an FIR has been lodged against unknown persons under Indian Penal Code sections 420 for fraud and 406 for criminal breach of trust as well as sections of the Information Technology Act.

First published on: 21-06-2021 at 01:49:05 am
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