Two Nigerian nationals were arrested for allegedly cheating women by proposing marriage and then taking money on the pretext of getting Customs clearance for expensive gifts, police said on Sunday.
Alex (30) and 45-year-old Ibeh allegedly approached women on matrimonial sites and introduced themselves as marine engineers based in the UK, they said.
The matter came to light in February when a 24-year-old resident of the President's Estate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, lodged a police complaint.
The victim alleged in her complaint that she connected with a man who introduced himself as Aman Arora, a marine engineer based in the UK, on a matrimonial site.
Shortly after, the victim started chatting with "Arora” on WhatsApp. During this time, he shared a London-Mumbai airline ticket.
Later, the victim got a call from a woman posing as a "Mumbai airport official" who told her that "Arora" had been detained for carrying 40,000 pounds, she alleged.
The woman asked the victim to pay Rs 8,500 as a registration fee for valuable articles, the police said, adding that the complainant subsequently made several payments amounting to Rs 4 lakh.
Based on technical analysis of mobile numbers and IP addresses, it was learnt that a gang of Nigerian nationals was operating from Greater Noida, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Pranav Tayal.
The suspects' location was identified and a raid was conducted on the Greater Noida society from where Alex was apprehended. The mobile phone used to commit the crime was also seized, he said.
"During interrogations, Alex disclosed that he came to India on a medical visa in 2020. He started cheating on women by proposing marriage or sending expensive gifts with the help of his associates.
"The gang created fake profiles on social media in the name of persons settled in the UK... They then contacted Indian women on social media. After proposing to them and luring them with expensive gifts, they would ask for money on the pretext of Custom clearance," the official said.
In this case, the accused created a profile in the name of Aman Arora on a matrimonial site at the direction of his associate. The accused proposed to marry the victim and settle in the US. Alex's associate Ibeh used to manage the bank accounts used to siphon off the money, he added.
Ibeh was also arrested from Greater Noida.
Three ATM cards and Rs 10,500 in cash were also seized, the police said.