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Sat. Nov 26th, 2022
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MUMBAI: Six months after a businesswoman was duped of Rs 2 crore by a ‘prospective suitor’ she met on a matrimonial portal, the cyber police have nabbed one of his associates in what appears to be an elaborate scam. The suitor, however, is yet to be identified and arrested.
Arrested accused Shahnawaz Khan prepared fake Aadhaar cards at his residence in UP. His brother, Abdul Sattar, opened bank accounts in the names of migrant labourers using the fake documentation, for receiving money defrauded from victims such as the businesswoman.
The woman had created a profile on a matrimonial portal where she matched with a man who claimed to be employed with NATO in Afghan-istan. The two grew close after chatting online. He told her that his life was in danger and he needed to move all his vital documents, certificates and awards to a trusted person. He asked for her address so she could receive his parcel. “The woman complied. She was informed when the parcel reached Delhi. But given the sensitive nature of the contents, she was asked to pay various charges,” said a police officer. The suitor assured her that he had sent USD7,800 with the parcel to reimburse her for all the payments she was making. For over a year, the womanpaid Rs2. 13 crore. However, when her life’s savings were wiped out and the parcel never reached her, she approached the North Region Cyber Police with a complaint in May.
The woman had made payments to 37 different bank accounts. Some of the bank accounts were opened in Mumbai and others in Delhi, but transactions were always done from UP. A team comprising assistant inspector Anuradha Patil, under supervision of senior inspector Vijay Chandanshive and DCP Balsingh Rajput, landed at Saidpur village in UP wherethey picked up Khan. They recovered 19 Sim cards, a laptop, colour printer, 10 ATM cards and 14 blank Aadhaar cards.
The police learnt that Sattar would accompany migrant labourers to banks in cities, and would get them to open bank accounts in exchange for a small amount of money. Fake Aadhaar cards prepared by Khan were used to open bank accounts. Soon after the defrauded money was received in the accounts, it was withdrawn via ATMs in UP. “By the time, banks discovered that the accounts were bogus and shut them, the defrauded sum had already been withdrawn,” said an officer. The police are probing how the cash withdrawn from ATMs was sent over to the other accused, including the woman’s suitor. The suitor and Sattar are at large.

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