africa

Nigerian held as diamond broker loses Rs1.2cr in honeytrap


Mumbai: V P Road police on Wednesday brought a 48-year-old Nigerian from New Delhi and arrested him in connection with a Rs 1.2 crore cheating case.
A diamond broker was allegedly honeytrapped by a woman he met on Instagram. She posed as a captain on a ship in London, and claimed she wanted to invest in the gold and diamond business in India. She said she had sent gifts and five lakh US dollars for it. The 42-year-old diamond broker from Girgaum was told to deposit money in bank accounts to get the gifts and dollars cleared from Customs. H later realised he was cheated.
Akeredolu Joseph Ojide, originally from Nigeria, was detained by Mumbai Police at Uttam Nagar market in Delhi. He was produced before a court, which remanded him to police custody till January 12.
The victim, who is married and stays with wife and child, told police he had received a friend’s request on October 10. She introduced herself as Alex Zendra and they exchanged numbers and chatted on WhatsApp. The broker, who has an office at BKC, told police that Zendra one day told him she wanted to marry him, adding that within a week of friendship, she sent messages and photos of gold chains, watches and branded shoes, claiming she had sent gifts for him.
He later got a call from a woman, who said she was from Customs, and that his parcel was seized at the airport. She told him to pay the fees to get it cleared. The broker transferred more than Rs 60 lakh in accounts. He went to Delhi and stayed at a hotel where the arrested accused met him and showed him US dollars, saying it was for business and had been sent by Zendra.
The Nigerian told him that since it was huge amount, it would be difficult to get it without paying fees. The broker transferred more than Rs 55 lakh to accounts but did not get any parcel or dollars. He tried contacting Zendra and the Nigerian and when he failed he realised he was cheated.
A team comprising Sandhyarani Bhosale, Sopan Kadad, Siddhesh Joshte, Dhanvesh Patil, Sachin Saravade, Kumar Patrud, Prabhakar Ahir, Munna Singh, Vaibhav Girkar and nodal officer Raja Bidkar arrested the Nigerian. “Prima facie, 18 bank accounts were used. We have written to banks for details and are trying to collect more details to establish the money trail. There is no information on Zendra. We are questioning the accused,” said an officer.

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