Nigerian held for duping dozens on job profile site with ‘herbal oil’ business
Pedro scouted for targets on LinkedIn and lured them to invest in purchasing oil from an Indian company and exporting it to Ghana to earn high profit, the police said.Updated: Jun 14, 2019 11:33 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A 39-year-old Nigerian has been arrested for duping over a dozen people in India over by selling them spurious herbal vaccine, police said on Thursday.
Two people who had invested Rs 1.5 crore in the Nigerian man’s product had filed separate cases against him. Police said more people might come out to complain against the accused.
Police said Gilbert Okoye Pedro introduced the scam, which originated in Macau a decade ago, in India. Pedro scouted for targets on LinkedIn and lured them to invest in purchasing oil from an Indian company and exporting it to Ghana to earn high profit, the police said.
“Pedro claimed to be a representative of a Ghana-based company that import Folinic B12 oil from India for producing vaccines for race horses. He had also floated a fake Indian company that sold the herbal product,” said Anyesh Roy, deputy commissioner of police (Cyber Cell).
DCP Roy said Pedro tricked people into buying bottles of the oil (which actually contained honey) from his fake Indian company. Once the investors bought the oil in bulk, Pedro switched off his cellphones, he said.
A resident of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, had complained against Pedro, police said. In his complaint, the victim said that Pedro had sent him a request on his LinkedIn profile, posing as Raphael Hougbendji, a Ghanaian working as the spokesperson of Animal Welfare Zoological Ltd. in his country.
“The foreigner proposed a lucrative business to the complainant – of exporting herbal vaccination products (Folinic B12 Oil) from India to Ghana. He told him that the oil is produced by an Indian company based in Assam. The complainant was told that the oil was available in India at a very low price and his company would buy it double its Indian price,” said an investigator.
The complainant purchased a sample for Rs 20,000. Pedro met him in Connaught Place area, where he checked and cleared the sample, paid Rs 86,000 and asked him to export a litre of it to his company for which he will be paid R45 lakh. The complainant bought one litre of the oil and paid R25 lakh to the company.
When the complainant failed to contact the buyer despite repeated attempts, he turned suspicious and opened the bottle to find it filled with honey.
“We tracked down the suspect’s whereabouts and finally caught him from a flat in Greater Noida. His interrogation revealed that he had cheated another investor from Tamil Nadu of R1.25 crore,” added Roy.
Police said Pedro came to India in 2010 but did not return even though his business visa expired long ago. Efforts are on to nab his associates, police said.
First Published: Jun 14, 2019 11:33 IST