Police arrested four people, including a woman, from Delhi on Tuesday for cheating a Bikaner woman of ₹56 lakh, said Bikaner inspector general of police Bipin Kumar Pandey. The victim transferred the money into the account of a man she met on a matrimonial site.
Police said the money was transferred into the bank accounts of Ajit Kumar Yadav of Jharkhand, who used 10 aliases and had accounts in the name of Anil Kumar Manjhi, in Bikaner, Delhi, Guwahati, Patna and Pune.
In November 2016, Bikaner’s Neetu Sharma, 35, lodged a FIR against Paras Prem Kumar and others for conning her into depositing ₹56 lakh over two months in different bank accounts for the release of 2.5 million British Pounds that Prem Kumar had allegedly couriered to India by a diplomatic service to be handed over to her.
Sharma told the police that Prem Kumar got in touch with her after she registered on a matrimonial site to search for a groom for her. “He told me that he was an orphan and he worked as an aircraft engineer with the United Nations and was posted in Iraq,” the woman told HT.
She said that the man said he would quit his job and relocate to India to marry her because she told him that she was not willing to relocate. He told her that he had accumulated a lot of wealth which he will transfer to her bank account.
“I was a little hesitant in the beginning. I said, ‘why should I accept your money before we are married,’ but he said he didn’t have an Indian citizenship and therefore needed a beneficiary here to transfer his money,” the woman said.
The man told her that his agent, named James David, will contact her when the courier arrives in India and she will need to pay ₹78,500 as tariff charges for port entry. The agent later called her to say that the customs had seized the courier and found that there were gold bars along with British currency.
“They fooled me into depositing money in different bank accounts in the name of bribing one office or the other. They even sent me a forged document of Indian finance intelligence unit to say that this transfer had come to their notice. We got worried about getting booked for money laundering without any fault and kept transferring money,” she said.
The woman, a science graduate, said after she stopped depositing money, Prem Kumar blocked her on his WhatsApp number. That’s when she got suspicious and began an investigation into the bank accounts into which she had transferred the amounts.
“I found out that the accounts were in the name of Anil Kumar whom some bank officials called a fraud, leading me to file a police complaint,” Sharma said.
She lodged a FIR on November 18 which was transferred to the cyber cell in Jaipur but the Bikaner police resumed an investigation into it and arrested the Indian nationals involved in the gang on Tuesday. “We suspect that some foreign nationals are also involved in the crime,” the IGP said.
Along with Yadav, police arrested Shrawan Singh Soda (34) from Barmer, Virendra Nath alias Maharaj Goswami (30) from Jodhpur and Anita (37) from Gurgaon.