A Nigerian run crime syndicate which specializes in duping people with promises of cheap cars in India has been arrested.
A six-man Nigerian crime syndicate operating in the Bangalore region in Southern India, has been busted by the city's West Division Chickpet Police who had been on a four year string of duping nationals of the country of huge sums of money on the pretext of selling them new cars cheap by advertising on national online classified such as Olx.in and Quikr.com, reports the Bangalore Mirror.
The names of the six-man syndicate which include five men and a woman, were given as Bolaji Lawal, 36, and his wife, Averil, 24, a Nigerian by birth but was raised in Sheshadri Nagar, Bangalore. Others are Chika Okpala, 30, Okjie Collins, 28, Oja L, 30, and Christian Obinna, 31.
Police reports that the gang would post ads on Quikr.com and Olx.in under a fake name claiming they had a vehicle in good condition to sell at a very cheap price but in the end, interested buyers would be duped of their money.
Their road to jail began on June 20, when a man named Shekar, approached the police stating he had fallen victim to such a fraud, and that he had contacted the number listed on the website since the ad claimed a new SUV was on sale cheap.
A police statement said:
"The man who answered Shekar's call told him he had 'urgent business' in Delhi and that the 'brand new car' had been kept in the parking lot of the international airport. He then gave the victim a number, claiming it belonged to a customs officer who would let him see the car for purchase.
When Shekar called the number, Averil, who goes by the aliases Deepa, Jyothi, Lalitha, etc, and speaks fluent Kannada, Hindi, English, and Tamil, pretended to be a customs officer and asked Shekar to transfer an initial amount of Rs 35,000 as parking fees before he would be allowed to see the car.
When the victim transferred the amount and called her, she then smooth-talked him into transferring Rs 25,000 twice into the account again, before she stopped answering his calls and switched her phone off.
When the Chickpet police were informed of this, they decided to set a trap for the gang that the CID had also reportedly been tracking for over 3-4 months.
We found that the accused used one SIM card and phone number to contact as many as two-three victims before disposing of the numbers. In this way, we learnt that they had acquired and used 4,000 SIM cards per year!"
The police also state that Lawal is considered the 'kingpin' of Nigerians living in that part of the town, and that any Nigerian who moved to the city would first contact him to find accommodation, a vehicle etc. and for other help.
Moreover, Lawal is the prime accused in the assault and brutal murder of a Nigerian national named Joshua alias Samuel Abiodun Paul that occurred in Hennur police limits in 2014.