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Nigerian National Held for Defrauding Businessman in Mumbai

The CCIC (Cyber Crime Investigation Cell) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch detained a Nigerian resident because he feigned as a diplomat and tricked a local businessman into handing over US$ 8,780 in an e-mail scam.

40-year old Onyekaozuru Basil Mmereole of Lagos (Nigeria) was caught red handed while accepting the money from the businessman in a hotel in South Mumbai on January 28, 2009, police said.

The incident started when Mmereole had e-mailed a message to the Mumbai businessman in November 2008 saying that he could obtain unclaimed money amounting US$ 8.6 Million from one Oceanic Bank located in Nigeria by paying US$ 8,780 as processing fees, police said.

The message said that the bank's director would personally collect the fees from the businessman. However, the businessman sought police help by lodging a complaint at the CCIC.

He subsequently contacted Mmereole and falsely expressed his willingness to pay the processing fees. After that, they chalked out a plan to meet at the hotel where police caught the Nigerian fraudster while taking the money, officials said.

Rakesh Maria, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said that they also think Mmereole played a part in two earlier cases of similar nature where he managed to collect the money and escaped, as reported by Indopia on January 28, 2009.

Mmereole had also pretended to be a diplomat as he targeted merchants who engaged in export and import businesses, Maria said.

Police further stated that Mmereole had in fact come down to Mumbai by air and showed his air ticket to the businessman to convince him. While there are some more such Nigerian nationals staying in the metro, police are investigating to burst the entire operation.

Moreover, the EOW (Economic Offenses Wing) a few months ago detained 5 individuals, two of them were Nigerians, for tricking a retired central government employee and a doctor based in Delhi. The victims got e-mails claiming that they were heirs of ancestral properties in Nigeria, which they could obtain by paying processing fees.

Related article: Nigerian Scammers Secure Huge Money from Australian Victims

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