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Accused used software tool to sort functional e-mail addresses
Would direct the victims to transfer money to bank accounts operated by him
NEW DELHI: A Nigerian national and his woman accomplice have been arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police on charges of fraudulently extracting money from people by offering them lottery prizes.
The police received a complaint from Rakesh Gupta (21), a resident of Khajoori Khas, alleging that he was cheated of Rs.90,000 by some people who through an e-mail claimed that he had won an online lottery worth 7,50,000 pounds.
A case was registered on the basis of Rakesh's complaint and investigations taken up. The police zeroed in on Obaseki Prince (32), Nigerian national residing at Maidangarhi, and Boni Sushila James (26), a resident of Safdarjung Enclave, and arrested them outside Indira Gandhi International Airport.
During interrogation, Obaseki purportedly disclosed that he came to India in March 2008. Some of his Nigerian friends who were already running lottery fraud rackets introduced him to the murky business. He met Boni, who hails from Manipur, through a friend and roped her in, said the police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ashok Chand said Obaseki sent mails offering fake lottery prizes through two spam mail generating software packages. He used another software tool to sort functional e-mail addresses for the purpose. The accused sent the mails through e-mail address “nationwidebank @englandmail.com”.
“The location of the sender is difficult to ascertain in such cases. Once a person gets trapped, he or she would be asked to send personal details on the e-mail account generated by Obaseki,” said Mr. Chand.
In subsequent interactions, Obaseki would allegedly ask the victims to keep the matter a secret till they had received the prize amount. He would then direct them to transfer money to bank accounts operated by him on the pretext of transfer fee, insurance, endorsement fees purportedly levied by the Reserve Bank of India or other such charges. To convince the victims that the prize offer was genuine, the accused would arrange calls to them through the United Kingdom-based telephone numbers. He sometimes provided them local telephone numbers obtained on forged identification papers.
Most of the bank accounts operated by the accused belonged to his friend and co-accused Boni. The police have so far identified six such accounts through which a transaction of over Rs.35 lakh had been made in the past year.
The police are verifying if Obaseki had the documents validating his stay in India.
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