A real estate developer in Pune was allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 38 lakh by online fraudsters who took money from him under the pretext of procurement of a rare oil to be used for the development of a vaccine in the United States.
An FIR in the case has been registered by the 48-year-old real estate businessman, who is a resident of Mukundnagar. As per his complaint, registered at Swargate police station, he had been communicating with a woman on Facebook since mid-February. The woman reportedly told him she is connected with the development of a vaccine in a laboratory in California, and that they were in need of a rare oil which is only found in Asian countries. The complainant said the woman told him he could help the vaccine developer in procuring the oil, and that he could also earn money in the process.
The complainant, who was looking for new avenues of business owing to the slowdown due to Covid-19 outbreak, accepted the proposal, and subsequently received multiple contact numbers purportedly of the people involved in the trade of the rare oil.
Officials said the complainant was made to do 14 transactions, totalling up to Rs 38.5 lakh between February and April. The complainant approached the police after realising he had been cheated.
Inspector Shabbir Sayyed, an investigator in the case, said, “We have launched a search into the social media and bank accounts, as well as the numbers used by the fraudsters.”