Hyderabad: A Nigerian fraudster, who is building an expensive villa in his country using the money he extorted in India, was arrested by the police after he trapped a Hyderabadi woman in a scam.
Simon Ebuka Umebee, also targeted victims in countries like Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Estonia and earned millions. He operated from Bengaluru with the help of another Nigerian and a woman from Nagaland. The two Nigerians have been staying in India with fake visa.
Besides Simon, police arrested his two associates Changkhumla from Nagaland and a Nigerian named Okon-kwo Kenneth Chigbo.
Police said a housewife from LB Nagar was trapped by Simon, who pretended to be a rich US citizen, using a fake FB profile. He started chatting with her on WhatsApp, and told her that he wanted to invest in India with her help.
In September, he called her up and told her that he wanted to give her a surprise gift. “After two days, she received a call from a woman, who introduced herself as a customs officer working at the New Delhi airport and enquired whether she was expecting any parcel from the US. When she replied yes, the ‘officer’ claimed the parcel contained a cheque of USD 5 lakh, diamond jewellery, iPhone, apple laptop, and other items.
The woman then asked her to pay Rs 3.5 lakh into a bank account for customs clearance and anti-terrorism certificate.
Meanwhile, Simon also sent her a mail saying he had sent her a gift. The woman deposited the money. But, later she was again asked to deposit Rs 3.2 lakh. Then she approached police.
The police found the woman who introduced herself as customs official was Changkhumla. They also found the third accused Okonkwo Kenneth Chigbo. Chigbo, a childhood friend of Simon, helped him to pull off the scam.
“We found that Simon had duped around 35 people across India,” said Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh M. Bhagwat.
The police found that Changkhumla manages bank accounts of people from Nagaland and uses them to get money from victims. She takes a 15 per cent commission.
“After receiving money from victims, Simon purchased readymade garments from Tiruppur and exported them to his relatives in Nigeria. We found that he is constructing an expensive villa in Lagos and had shared his villa’s pics on WhatsApp with friends,” said inspector Riyazuddin....