Amra Obesogyo (32) and his alleged wife, Chistobel Libeh (30), staying in India illegally, allegedly duped a 57-year-old Mahim homemaker between December 2017 and May 2018. Amra befriended her in 2017 on Facebook, introducing himself as a “marine engineer captain” of a merchant navy ship from the US. She said she was lured after they gained her trust after communicating through Messenger, WhatsApp and text messages.
She was promised double the sum if she helped Amra to get his parcel of gold, silver and foreign currencies, stuck with Delhi Customs, and also a reward of 20,000 pounds to travel to US. She said she took a loan, withdrew savings and broke FDs to pay the Customs duty without verifying details. After making at least 25 payments for almost five months she realized something was amiss, and when she checked, she realised she was duped.
She lodged a complaint on June 23, 2018, with Mahim police. The case was taken over by DCP (cyber) Vishal Thakur, who supervised a team of inspectors Sharmila Shashrabudhe and Pravin Koppikar, assistant inspector Ravikiran Nale, sub-inspectors Deepak Salunke and Nilesh Yashwantrao.
Police spent months tracking down at least 30 beneficiary accounts opened in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mizoram and Mumbai that the accused used to transfer the siphoned amounts to.
Auto driver Ashok Borade (40) was regularly in touch with the Nigerians, staying in Ulwe, Nava Sheva, said a cyber police officer. Police monitored Borade’s call records for over a month. “We were tipped off that a Nigerian couple was being ferried by Borade in his auto many times in Navi Mumbai. Borade’s arrest helped us unearth the fraud and arrest the Nigerians. A further probe is on,” said Thakur.
Thakur said they have sought details of the fraudsters’ bank accounts. The three, in police custody till March 22, have been booked for cheating and impersonation, and under IT Act.