A 29-year-old Nigerian man was arrested in Greater Noida, India on Monday, July 24, for allegedly cheating a 32-year-old woman of over Rs 1.6 lakh after he befriended her on a matrimonial site posing as the MD of Ford Motors and convinced her to transfer the money.
The accused, Kingsley Chibukem, a student at a computer training institute in Greater Noida, was nabbed from his rented house G-66 in Sector Delta 2 by Maharashtra and Greater Noida police around 8am.
According to Times of India, neighbours alleged that when police arrived to arrest him, he called up friends, who resisted the arrest and created a ruckus for three hours.
The complainant, who owns a beauty parlour in Ozar in Nashik district, Maharashtra, is separated from her husband. She created an account on a matrimonial portal for remarriage, where she came in contact with Michel Sosan Craig, who claimed to be the MD of Ford Motor Company, London. He contacted her earlier this month from an international phone number.
In her police complaint, accessed by TOI, the woman said Michel called her once but she did not pick up. But she received the call the second time.
“He asked to share my WhatsApp number, which I did on July 4. Following this, we remained in touch. He said that his wife died of cancer and he has a five-year-old daughter. He claimed that he was staying in London and was going to Sri Lanka soon, and that he and his mother would meet me while on his way back. Michel said that his mother really liked my profile, after which I started trusting him and gave him my address,” she said.
Two days later, she gave him her address. Michel told her that he has sent a gift for her, which she would soon get from a courier company.
On July 9, the woman received a call from a person identifying herself as Shweta, who said she was calling from Delhi-based Delta Courier Service. Shweta told her she had a parcel for her, and a fee of Rs 42,500 had to be paid for delivery.
“When I asked Michel about the delivery fee, he said he had already paid the amount from his side, and now I needed to pay from my side. I trusted him because he sent me the label of the courier service, and deposited the amount from my bank account,” she told police.
After the deposit, she received another call from the “authorities at airport scanning department”, who said the parcel could be processed as it contained money, and she needed to submit Rs 1.25 lakh as a fine to retrieve the parcel.
On confronting Michel on this, he again reassured her, saying he could not pay the money to her through his account due to which he sent it by courier.
“He said he had spoke to the customs authorities in London, and that they said I could retrieve the parcel by paying the money, otherwise it would be confiscated in India,” she said.
She again transferred the amount in the account, which had been opened in SBI’s Madanrting branch, Meghalaya.
After the payment, she again received a call from Shweta, who said she had received the money and she needed to deposit Rs 75,000 more to get the parcel. The woman got suspicious, and complained about the matter to police. An FIR was lodged on July 19 at Ozar police station in Nashik.
The Ozar police identified Chibukem as the one who withdrew the money from the account using an ATM card from two branches in Delhi.
“He was captured in CCTV footage of the two ATMs in Delhi from where he withdrew the money. He has admitted that he had indeed withdrawn the money,” said Ozar police station inspector Pankaj Bhalerao.