Indian authorities have apprehended two Nigerian individuals, Ebuka Felix and Chukwuka Ewere, on charges of defrauding a minimum of 20 women out of large sums of money after establishing relationships with them on the social media platform Instagram. The arrest took place at their residence in Nilothi, Delhi, on Monday, May 29, 2023, by the Manesar Cyber Police Station team located in Gurugram.
During the interrogation process, the arrested Nigerian men disclosed that their gang consisted of five members who collectively targeted women on Instagram. The suspects were taken into custody based on a complaint filed by a woman who claimed to have been deceived of Rs 1.80 crore by an individual she met on Instagram the previous year. The victim reported the incident to the Manesar Police Station on April 10. In her complaint, the woman stated that the man had presented himself as a resident of the UK and a pilot for British Airways.
In her complaint, the woman shared her experience stating, “The accused maintained regular communication with me. At one point last year, he informed me that he was sending a gift parcel containing an iPhone, jewelry, and other items. On December 6, I received a call from an individual claiming that a parcel had arrived in my name, but I needed to pay Rs 35,000 as a tax fee to receive it.” The victim complied and deposited the money into a bank account provided by the man. However, she continued to receive requests for additional funds from her supposed friend, who cited various reasons such as “United National Anti-Terrorist Clearance” or penalties. It was only when she realized that she had been a victim of fraud that she discovered she had paid a total of Rs 1.80 crore to the man. Police stated that they seized a checkbook, 16 bank passbooks, 25 ATM cards, seven mobile phones with corresponding SIM cards, one laptop, one scooter, and Rs 10,000 in cash from the possession of the accused.
Both Nigerian nationals were presented before a city court and subsequently taken into four-day police remand.
According to Varun Dahiya, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime), “The two accused are part of the same gang that was apprehended by the police on May 11. We have taken them into police remand and are currently interrogating them.”
Inspector Naresh Kumar, Station House Officer of Manesar Cyber Station, stated that the Nigerian suspects disclosed the involvement of three women in their gang. He further added, “All three women are from Mizoram. After committing the crimes, they used to return to Mizoram. We have intensified our efforts to locate them.”