The Kerala Police, in a joint operation with the Delhi Police, on Sunday arrested four Nigerian nationals and a Delhi resident on the charge of running a fake online fund-transfer racket from Malaviya Nagar.
The accused Nigerian nationals — Tobechukwu Hllary, Ugochukwu Cornelius, Agustine Thukwudi, Ugonna Newton and Malviya Nagar resident Mousam Kumar Roy (alias Rohit Sarma) from Makandpur, Bihar, were living in a flat in Malviya Nagar.
They have been taken to Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and produced before a magistrate court. The court remanded the five in police custody on Wednesday.
Investigating officer (Kerala Police) R K Jayaraj said the five had been conducting illegal activities for a long time, but the victims of the fraud had so far been reluctant to come forward and file complaints. But a housewife from Thirumala came forward to complain in November.
In her complaint to police, the housewife alleged that a foreign national had emailed her, asking her to transfer money for the construction of a cancer specialty hospital in memory of her late husband. The woman transferred Rs 2.77 lakh to two bank accounts, police said.
However, when she was asked to pay Rs 8 lakh more, she grew suspicious and informed police.
During investigation, the cyber cell of the Kerala Police found that the accused were operating from Malviya Nagar. A police team raided Khirki Extension. “They resisted but our personnel overpowered them,’’ a police officer said.
On the modus operandi of the racket, the officer said the five would lure their potential victims through text messages, saying that they have won a huge sum and their bank account and other details were required for transferring the fund. The gang would then seek some some money as a prerequisite for handing over the prize money, the officer said.