The Thane crime branch arrested three persons, including two Nigerians, over the last three days for allegedly cheating a man to the tune of Rs 3.66 lakh under the pretext of selling “blue blood of crabs”, police said.
Thane Joint Commissioner of Police Madhukar Pandey said that the police suspect involvement of an international racket in the fraud.
Police had arrested Abdul Kadir Ibrahim Kucchi (40) from Panvel in neighbouring Raigad district on May 26 for allegedly duping a Ulhasnagar resident of Rs 3.66 lakh on the pretext of selling “blue blood of crabs”, which he claimed was in great demand in the pharma industry of United Kingdom.
According to police, the victim made an online payment on the account number provided by Kucchi.
“Names of Nigerian nationals Ejjoku Joyel Sunday alias Stanely Sunday (41) and Onkanchi Anthony Madu (40) cropped up during Kuchhi’s interrogation. We arrested them from Navi Mumbai on May 28,” Pandey said.
Police recovered 37 mobile phone handsets, 21 debit cards, 28 cheque books of different banks, 47 wrist watches–collectively valued at Rs 2,60,320 from the duo, he said.
Explaining the modus operandi adopted by the gang, Pandey said they used to pick their targets through social media and would inform them about the requirement of the “blue blood of crabs” by a UK company for manufacturing medicines.
“They would tell their victims that the said company would pay a hefty price for buying the blue blood. The accused would then ask the victims to deposit money in the bank accounts provided to them. However, once the money is deposited, they would withdraw it,” the officer said, adding that the bank accounts of an Indian national, identified only as Satish, were used for carrying out the transactions.
Police have registered a case under sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) rw sections 34, 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.) and 468 ( forgery for purpose of cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and also under section 66(D) of the Information Technology Act of 2008.
Further investigation is underway.