A 21-year-old Girgaon resident was reportedly duped of Rs 10 lakh by unidentified men, purportedly belonging to a Nigerian gang, on the pretext of doing business in herbal products, police said.
According to police, complainant Prakash Devasi’s father Chaigaram had received a message in November last year from a man who identified himself as Mark Nana, a representative of a herbal company Quame Veterinary, based outside India. The man reportedly claimed that the company was looking for an exporter of herbal products in India and offered Chaigaram a lucrative deal, police said.
“Chaigaram forwarded the contact details to his son, following which Prakash, Mark and other executives shared details of the business via emails. The complainant was reportedly told to buy a small quantity of herbal products from their centres in Assam and Rajasthan,” an officer said. The fraudsters also said the products will be tested and if found fit then another company would buy the products at a much higher value.
After Prakash bought two litres of the herbal product for Rs 10 lakh, the accused told him that an executive of the firm interested in buying the product will soon contact him. On February 4, a representative of the firm, who identified himself as Johnson, met Prakash. “Johnson claimed that he had come from Nigeria to test the products and took some samples. The next day, Johnson called Prakash and told him that their product was 100 per cent pure and asked him to contact Mark to finalise the deal. When the complainant contacted Mark, he was reportedly asked to buy another 25 litres of the product as the buyer was interested in purchasing the product in a larger quantity,” police said.
The complainant reportedly demanded an advance payment when the company said it would take the delivery by the month-end and make full payment thereafter. However, as Prakash insisted for the advance, the business deal was called off.
“When Prakash asked for Rs 10 lakh which he paid initially, Mark stopped responding to his calls and messages. It was then that he sensed something amiss and approached the police,” the officer said.
A case has been registered under relevant sections of cheating and impersonation of the IPC and Information Technology Act, 2012 in the matter even as police are trying to trace the accused with the help of his call data record and IP addresses of the emails exchanged.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines