Two Nigerian nationals held by Gurgaon police in an online fraud case have said during questioning that a large number of foreign nationals are staying at Tughlakabad Extension in New Delhi without valid passports and visas, police said.
According to an officer close to the investigation, the duo, identified as Ibrahim Onogiede (28) and Kendth Chika Osuji (29), told them that a number of other Nigerian nationals are involved in online frauds by sending spam mails and duping people through fake social media accounts. They have been staying at Tughlakabad Extension for over one and a half years but their visas have expired, the officer said.
The police had arrested them along with a woman, identified as Seema Sheikh, on January 4 from Tughlakabad Extension on charges of duping Gurgaon resident Hitesh Vyas of Rs1.7 lakh after approaching him through a fake Facebook account.
“They have revealed a lot about online frauds and drug peddling involving foreign nationals staying in their area. They have claimed that visas of a majority of those involved in such activities have expired,” said inspector Anand Kumar, in-charge of the Gurgaon cyber crime cell, which is probing the case. He, however, refused to speak further on the matter as it pertains to Delhi police’s jurisdiction.
The two men were remanded to two-day police custody on Wednesday to probe their links with other fraud cases while the woman was sent to judicial custody.
Inspector Kumar said that Onogiede operated fake Facebook accounts created in names of women from the UK and USA. “He used to contact prospective targets after scanning their profiles on Facebook. After initial friendship, they would lure victims by offering to send expensive items. They also sent spam mails about fake lottery amounts or charity payments,” said Kumar.
Vyas too was contacted through a fake Facebook account made in the name of woman from London. He was told he was being sent a laptop and a gold watch. He deposited Rs1.7 lakh in two instalments in the bank accounts mentioned by the three for settling “customs duty and income tax charges”.
Kumar said Seema Sheikh helped the duo get a house at Tughlakabad Extension and also assisted them in the crime by calling the victims for depositing money.
“We often conduct raids and special verification drives in areas in which foreign nationals stay in large numbers. If something is found wrong, the person is deported,” said Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), southeast Delhi. He said the police would initiate action if any specific input was shared.
On July 1 last year, the Gurgaon police had arrested a Nigerian national, Aiyudubie Osasere Joseph, on charges of trying to get his visa extended by furnishing a wrong address. Joseph had applied for visa extension in the foreigners’ registration office (FRO) at the Gurgaon police commissionerate by giving an address from U block in DLF Phase 3. On verification, the police found that he had never lived on that address.