A 34-year-old Afghan national has been arrested on charges of raping a US woman and duping her of 86,000 dollars after befriending her on social media and threatening her with an acid attack after she learnt his truth, police said and suspects there may be other victims.
The accused, Hameedullah, allegedly befriended the 39-year-old American woman, who is in the business of compression clothing, over Facebook posing as MK Faheem, a banker based in Dubai, said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police (Crime).
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After she learnt his truth, he threatened to carry out an acid attack on her. He blackmailed her saying he would implicate her under charges of terrorism and also told her that he would upload her explicit pictures on the internet, he said.
Hameedullah usually targeted women who were in their 30s, because he felt that they were more vulnerable as they were looking to get settled soon, another officer said, adding that his victims were mostly foreign nationals.
“He possesses excellent communication skills and has command over several languages. He has made Facebook profiles with different names and approaches female users for friendship on the social media site. With his efforts, he used to win the confidence of female victims and entrap them,” said Yadav.
Till now, police has found two Facebook profiles operated by him and are looking for the other profiles he had used to target victims.
During interrogation, he claimed that he is married and his wife is in the US and is pregnant but police will be speaking to her to verify his claims, sources said.
After Hameedullah befriended the US woman on Facebook, he professed his love to her and persuaded her to meet him around November last year.
Initially, he would portray himself as a gentleman and spend money on the woman to gain her trust, police said. He would win her confidence, give her assurance of marriage and them become physically intimate with her.
In this case, he also prepared a fake marriage document mentioning the woman as his lawful wife and started exploiting her sexually.
“Hameedullah also took sexually explicit pictures and videos of the woman and even managed to cheat her of USD 86,000 on various pretexts.
“The accused got the cheated amount transferred to Afghanistan and further received this amount in India through alternative channels,” said Yadav.
The victim discovered his real identity and found that the accused has been mentioned as a scammer on a website ‘who scammed you.com’.
“When she confronted him, he threatened her that he would inform the FBI. He told her that he would claim that the money transferred by her was paid to some terrorists in Kabul.
“He also threatened her that he had clicked her indecent pictures and videos and that he would upload them on the net. The complainant was even threatened of an acid attack by the accused,” said the officer.
She approached Delhi Police’s Crime Branch on February 2.
A case under IPC sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 376 ( Punishment for rape), 385 (Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 387 (Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion ) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) was registered, he said.
A team led by ACP Ishwar Singh was constituted under the supervision of DCP G Ram Gopal Naik to nab the accused. The team apprehended accused Hameedullah near Hyatt hotel, RK Puram, Delhi on February 2.
Two i-Phones, a laptop, documents of property purchased by the cheated money, jewellery and an Audi A3 car were recovered from the accused.
The accused was born in Kabul in January, 1981 and was brought up at Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan.
“He holds an Afghan passport issued at Kabul. His family moved to UAE in 1997-98 due to hostile conditions in Afghanistan. He arrived in India in July 2011 on a tourist visa that was later converted to medical visa,” said Yadav.
His visa had expired in 2013. He claimed that he had been adopted by an Indian woman and had prepared some documents to cement his claims, sources said, adding that the documents will be verified.
He was living a luxurious life with the money he got from his victims.
Police is also probing whether he had been arrested under similar offences in India or abroad and is also verifying how many women he has duped till now.