The accused were identified as New Delhi residents Augustine Maduabuchi, 29, and Chinedu, 36.

Two Nigerian Nationals Apprehended for Swindling Chennai Woman of Rs 2.8 Crore in Matrimonial Site Scam

The Greater Chennai Police (GCP) have apprehended two Nigerian nationals on charges of defrauding a Chennai resident of Rs 2.87 crore through a matrimonial website scam. Augustine Maduabuchi, 29, and Chinedu, 36, both hailing from New Delhi, were arrested on February 7 following an investigation into the elaborate scheme. Authorities seized seven mobile phones, three laptops, and 40 debit cards from the suspects, who were subsequently presented before the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Egmore and remanded to Puzhal Central Prison, Chennai.

The victim, a resident of KK Nagar, lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime Branch of the GCP in December last year, detailing her interactions with an individual named Alexander Sanchez on a matrimonial platform. After their initial contact on the website, the conversations transitioned to WhatsApp, where the accused purportedly expressed intentions of marriage and promised to meet her in Chennai.

Subsequently, the victim received communication claiming that valuable gifts had been dispatched to her address. Shortly after, she received a call from an individual posing as a customs officer stationed at the New Delhi airport, who demanded payment for the release of the purported gift parcel. Trusting the legitimacy of the call, the victim transferred Rs 2.87 crore to various bank accounts as instructed.

However, after two months, the victim realized she had fallen victim to a scam and lodged a formal complaint with the authorities. An investigation ensued, uncovering that the bank accounts used for the fraudulent transactions were registered under fictitious identities across multiple states, including South Delhi, Meghalaya, Kerala, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Manipur, and Mizoram. Further analysis revealed ATM withdrawals and online transactions primarily concentrated in areas around Uttam Nagar, Mohan Garden, and Dwarka in New Delhi.

In response to the scam, law enforcement officials commented, “The victims are enticed with false promises of marriage and ensnared in gift scams. Fraudsters then deceive victims into believing that high-value parcels have been dispatched to them via courier. Subsequently, victims receive fraudulent calls from individuals posing as customs officials and are coerced into transferring money to various bank accounts under the guise of clearance fees and fines.”

The apprehension of the suspects marks a significant development in combating fraudulent activities perpetrated through online platforms, underscoring the importance of vigilance and caution in digital interactions, especially within the realm of online matrimonial sites.

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