A senior citizen from Bandra, Mumbai has been duped of Rs 1.97 crores after he was cheated by a Nigerian gang on Facebook. Before this, many similar scamsters had been arrested for peddling drugs, online scams, cloning of PAN cards and debit cards etc.
108 false accounts have been found by the Cyber Crime police while probing the Rs 1.97 crore scam. According to a report by The Times of India, the 72-year-old Bandra resident was dodged by a Facebook friend from the US with the promise of remunerative yield in an investment scheme in Afghanistan. The whole process of investigation led the police to Delhi, where they arrested Amit Agarwal, Sameer Merchant alias Karan Sharma, Mangal Bishnoi, Jitendra Rathod and Paresh Nisband. The Bandra senior resident had transferred huge money into the accounts of these men.
Police have arrested the kingpin of the fake PAN card racket from Naya Nagar in Mira Road, and later the whole money was instantly withdrawn and also got the bank accounts paralysed respectively.
The Bandra resident had filed a complaint of losing the amount of Rs 1.97 to a man, who sent him a friend request on Facebook claiming to be a US Army personnel posted in Afghanistan. According to him, this man has offered him an investment opportunity on a partnership basis, after which duo exchanged phone numbers and started chatting on WhatsApp.
After some time, the victim received a certificate of deposit ‘authorised’ by the US Army Corp and was told that a certificate has also been sent to the Delhi branch of a nationalised bank also. The victim then got a call from a woman who identified herself to be an executive with that bank, confirming receipt of the certificate. She said the acknowledgment had been mailed to him from the bank’s official email account.
Subsequently, the man was asked by the gang members to transfer money, he deposited a total of Rs 1.97 crore, in one way or the other. Later, a debit card was also couriered to the victim.
When the complainant tried to withdraw money from ATM, he found it was a fake card. He then realised he had been duped.
During investigating the case, a senior Police Officer has said that they found the gang had opened fake accounts in various banks in Mumbai and Delhi.
He said, “During the scrutiny of the Know Your Customer (KYC) documents, it was found that most of the accounts were opened using PAN as the main proof. “When we scrutinised those PAN cards, they were found to be fake. Further investigations led us to Mohammed Arif Shaikh, a resident of Naya Nagar,” adding that we picked him up and found several discriminating documents and 11 PAN cards from his office.
He is an expert in making fake PAN cards. “We are probing how he made these fake PAN cards and with whose help.”
The accused has transferred all the money to the other accounts, which is already withdrawn from the accounts. Police suspect Nigerian scamsters to be the masterminds.
The accused had opened 108 accounts in various banks by using these PAN cards, which police have frozen. “We have frozen these accounts, which have nearly Rs 1 crore balance in total,” said another Police Officer.
The Logical Indian community requests the netizens of India to remain vigilant and not fall prey into such traps. We hope that all proper investigations are done to catch the culprits and bring them to justice.