Computer Crime Research Center


Nigerian held for Internet fraud

Date: June 10, 2008

CYBERCRIME CATCH: Gang operates from UK or Nigeria, says Crime Branch

“Congratulations! You have won the UK National Lottery worth one million pounds.”

Anybody will be excited to receive such an alluring e-mail and won’t mind paying 7,000 to 8,000 for receiving the huge sum of money.

This was the ploy used by Bright, a Nigerian national, the alleged kingpin of an overseas gang that cheats people through the Internet. The gang is suspected to be operating from the UK or Nigeria and has members in Punjab and other parts of India.

The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested the 25-year-old Nigerian from the city railway station on Saturday where he had come to hand over the “prize” to one Balbir Singh, a local resident.

Bright is doing software engineering from Delhi, officers said.

Booked on charges of cheating, under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 14 of the Foreigner Act, he has been remanded in police custody till June 10.

The Crime Branch swung into action after it received a complaint from one Balbir Singh, a resident of Mohali, who was duped of around Rs 2 lakh.

Balbir had received an e-mail that said he had been selected as the lucky recipient of the 1 million UK National Lottery. “Balbir received the mail on May 9. He walked into the trap and ended up paying Rs 1.81 lakh,” said DSP (Crime Branch) K I P Singh.

Balbir would receive e-mails asking him to deposit money on account of courier charges, identification certificate, VAT etc in two international accounts of ICICI and Axis banks. “When I last received a call, demanding a payment of Rs 56,000 on account of government tax clearance charges, I got suspicious and approached the Crime Branch,” he said.

Balbir was advised to ask the caller to come and meet him personally. “We asked Balbir to tell them he cannot further deposit any money in the bank as he was left only with black money. We advised him to ask the caller to come to India and hand over the parcel. They refused initially, but later told Balbir to come to Delhi, to which he refused and it was finally decided that an agent will come to Chanidgarh,” said the DSP.

Accordingly, Bright came to Chandigarh and was arrested. A mobile phone was recovered from his possession. “We have found out that he was in touch with nearly 20 to 25 people from whom he was to receive money,” said K I P Singh.

The e-mails sent by the gang bore a corporate look, with warnings and notes advising the recipients not to get fooled, the police said.

The Crime Branch is yet to find out whether this gang operates from the UK or Nigeria, though the officers confirmed that the gang comprises members operating in Nigeria and India, particularly New Delhi.

The Chandigarh Police will write to the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Home Affairs soon to find out the details about other people involved.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has recently posted a message on its official website warning people not to fall in such traps.

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2008-08-01 05:14:28 - I want to write job crime report about... Gajanan
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