The Unit 11 of the Mumbai Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested two Nigerian nationals from their rented apartment in Malvani for allegedly duping at least 12 women from Mumbai by befriending them from matrimonial sites, starting affairs on the virtual world, planning to marry them and then, after gaining their trust, extorting money from them.
Atulchandra Kulkarni, joint commissioner of police (crime), who arrested Charles TA (30), and I Oliver Odo (29), said that the police suspects that the duo have duped 12 women of around Rs 2 crore in the past two years.
‘They create fake profiles on matrimonial websites with photographs of a good looking person. They then claim to be residents of UK and over a period of time move from matrimonial websites to WhatsApp to voice calls,” the police said.
Citing the example of the complainant in the case, the police said that a Mumbai-based vice president of a company was excited that she found her match on a matrimonial website.
She started chatting daily for nearly six months with a Britain-based Indian. Soon they started communicating on the phone with the groom-to-be talking in chaste British accent talking about their everyday affairs. After some time the duo decided to tie the knot.
The only problem was the soon-to-be groom’s mother had cancer because of which he could not come to India. His father had been researching on cancer and needed some seeds available only in India.
The woman, in a bid to help her groom-to-be and his family, said she would arrange for the seeds.
Over a period of six months, she ended up making payments for Rs 1.35 lakh, of which Rs 50 lakh she took on loan.
“After she volunteered to get the seeds for him, he gave her the contact number of a person — also suspected to be an accused — who can sell it to her. Over a period of time, she not only ended up spending her savings, she also took a loan of Rs 50 lakh to pay for the seeds. In all she spent Rs 1.37 crore before she realized something was up,” said DCP Mohan Dahikar.
KMM Prasanna, additional commissioner of police (crime), said, “We found six UK SIM cards from the accused’s Malvani residence using which they would make calls. They had mastered the UK accent, and hence there was no way for a victim to suspect that the person they were talking to was not from UK.”
“We will be writing to these marriage portals to ensure fake profiles are not put up,” Kulkarni added.