Nigerian, woman associate held for duping Mumbai man

October 18th, 2008 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) A Nigerian who posed as a senior diplomat and his Indian woman accomplice who masqueraded as a customs official have been arrested for cheating a Mumbai resident of nearly Rs.230,000, the police said Friday.Sleuths of Delhi Police’s Crime Branch arrested Chima John Kenneth alias Johnson Smith, 28, and his accomplice Nirupma Tiwari, 32, from Gandhi Vihar in Timarpur area of north Delhi.

The police said they began investigating the matter on the complaint of Mumbai resident Shailesh Singh.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Neeraj Thakur said a man called Martin Pedro got in touch with Singh stating that he had won prize money of $850,000 for the New Year Season 2008 that was supposedly organised by Webmaster Inc.

Pedro asked Singh to furnish his details through email so that the prize money could be sent to him. Singh was asked not to inform anyone about the money in order to avoid disqualification that could arise from a double claim.

Singh was then contacted by a Tony Alexander, who posing as an executive from the Foreign Remittance Department in Natwest Bank, told him that a senior diplomat, Johnson Smith, would deliver the money to him in India on Oct 9. Singh was asked to pay $950 towards the ‘Indian Airport Authority Charges’.

“Enticed by the lure of easy money, Singh made the payment in the bank account mentioned in the email. Immediately, after an hour, Smith again demanded Rs.200,000 for registration with the customs registration department in Delhi. The complainant also paid the asked amount in a different bank account,” Thakur said.

Last week, Smith delivered a bag to Singh at Ashoka Hotel saying that it contained the prize money. Singh checked the bag and found it contained black paper notes.

Smith told him that the notes were “defaced” dollars and could be restored by applying certain chemicals that would cost him Rs.125,000. Singh then complained to the police and the accused were nabbed.

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