2 African nationals held for cheating people on pretext of oxygen cylinders

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) Two African nationals have been arrested for allegedly cheating people on the pretext of providing them oxygen cylinders, police said on Sunday.

The accused have been identified as Cheema Benneth (42), a native of Nigeria and Jonathan Kojo (44), a resident of Ghana, they said.

On May 5, a man told the police that he was in need of an oxygen cylinder for his relative who was suffering from COVID-19 and after finding a phone number on the social media, he contacted the accused who told him to pay Rs 16,000 for an oxygen cylinder and Rs 4,000 as transportation charge, following which the complainant transferred Rs 20,000 to their account, officials said.

The accused assured him that the cylinder would reach his address. However, the victim did not receive any cylinder and when he tried to contact the accused, they blocked his number, a senior police officer said.

'During investigation, it was found that foreign nationals were involved in the cheating racket spread across India. On Thursday, police apprehended Benneth from Green Park in south Delhi. Based on his disclosure, his associate Kojo was also also nabbed on Saturday,' Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shibesh Singh said.

Police recovered 163 SIM cards, 19 mobile phones, five laptops, four debit cards and other articles from their possession.

During interrogation, Benneth told the police that he along with his associates in India and abroad were cheating people via different modes.

After seeing the rising demand for oxygen cylinders in Delhi, they planned to cheat people via this mode. They flashed their mobile numbers on different social media platforms, promising to provide oxygen cylinders to needy people, police said.

The accused disclosed that he collected phone numbers of the needy people from the social media and along with his associates started sending massages to them regarding availability of oxygen cylinders, they said.

One of his associates in Bangalore provided the bank accounts to receive the cheated money. After withdrawing the money, their share was deposited in their respective bank accounts. Their other associates in Africa also assisted in this fraud, police said.

Police found that they were using more than 20 bank accounts for cheating and they have duped more than 1,000 people across India of over Rs 2 crore, they added. PTI NIT NIT TDS TDS

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