A resident of Sector 23, Chandigarh was duped of Rs 10.7 lakh as he tried to help a Facebook friend.
Rajesh Singh, a businessman, in his complaint to the police has said that he came in contact with one Smith Walter of London on Facebook in September 2016. Singh said that Walter had told him that he was a scientist and working with Britannia Pharmaceuticals limited. The two had shared their email ids and Whatsapp numbers on Facebook messenger.
Singh alleged that Walter had asked him to procure some herbs that are used in cancer and HIV medicines. Walter told him about one Rajesh Sharma, who has a farm in Maharashtra and supplies herbs, and had shared with Singh the contact details of Sharma through email, as well as Whatsapp.
Walter had asked Singh to purchase two bottles of Akinos Herbal oil sample from Rajesh and the same were to be handed over to Walter’s company's delegate named Johnson Mark (a Nigerian) who was coming to India on October 9.
Singh called up Rajesh and asked for the sample for which he asked Singh to deposit Rs 70,000 in Sharma trading private limited account before he (Sharma) sends them two samples of 35 gram each Akinos Herbal seed.
After he received the first sample, again on the email, Singh was asked to arrange for supply of 600 pieces of the same herbal product to Britannia Pharmaceuticals limited. Singh on October 9 met Johnson Mark who checked the samples in Delhi.
Singh, on Sharma’s insistence, had deposited Rs 5 lakh twice as Sharma had raised the bill of Rs 1 crore to supply the same.
But despite having made the payment, the consignment was not delivered, so Singh went to Maharashtra to take delivery, but he found that there was no office at the address provided and all the contact numbers were switched off. Later, Walter had even blocked Singh's Facebook account so he was unable to send him any message.
Singh in October 2016 registered complaint at the cyber cell, Chandigarh, that conducted a preliminary inquiry and on Friday a case registered under Section 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) at Sector-17 police station. During the investigations it was found that Britannia Pharmaceuticals limited is a fake company.