Arnab Singh alias Neel Roy Banmali (26), a resident of Howrah in Kolkata, was arrested last Saturday. (Representational)
A CYBER fraudster has been arrested for allegedly duping a 54-year-old Powai-based chartered accountant (CA) of Rs 3.2 lakh on the pretext of helping him find a life partner.
Arnab Singh alias Neel Roy Banmali (26), a resident of Howrah in Kolkata, was arrested last Saturday. The police are now looking for at least three of his accomplices who helped him dupe the complainant. The CA, who had been divorced twice, fell prey when he started looking for a companion through online dating.
In his statement to the police, the CA has said that last April, he came across a website named locanto.com. He registered himself and found several mobile numbers on the website. He tried contacting the numbers but received no response. However, around 10 am of April 9, a woman, who identified herself as Jenny, contacted him and inquired about what kind of woman he was looking to date. When the complainant said that he wanted to go out with a Bengali woman, the caller asked him for his Aadhaar card number.
The statement added that a few hours later, Jenny called again, asked him to pay Rs 830 as registration fee and sent him the photographs of four women. After he selected a woman named Debjani Chakrverty, the caller asked him to transfer Rs 18,700 to get the woman’s contact number.
The CA transferred the amount on April 10, following which he was sent Chakrverty’s number. He went on to call her and they started talking. Chakrverty even sent him photographs, following which the CA started insisting on meeting over dinner.
“The woman initially refused and asked to pay Rs 49,900 as agreement fee. After he transferred the amount, the two agreed to meet on April 12... but she called again and asked for another Rs 64,000. He again paid up,” said an officer from Powai police.
The two decided to meet the next day, but Chakrverty called again, asking for Rs 40,000. “Just to meet the woman, the CA paid Rs 2.31 lakh to the fraudsters. But as she kept cancelling at the last moment, he contacted Jenny and complained against her,” said the officer.
He then got in touch with a person who claimed to be Chakrverty’s immediate boss. “This man asked the CA to pay Rs 70,000 to lodge a complaint... he again paid the amount,” the officer said. In between, the CA kept on paying the fraudsters money on the pretext of some fee or the other.
“On April 12, when the man again asked him to pay Rs 85,000, the CA sensed something was amiss and requested that his contract be cancelled. But when he asked for his money, they refused and switched off their cellphones. He then filed a police complaint,” the officer said, adding that a case was registered in May 2019. Following preliminary probe, a case of cheating under IPC and IT Act was registered.
Months later, the police managed to locate Arnab Singh at Howrah. A team was dispatched but he couldn’t be found. “Later, we learnt that he had been arrested in a similar case by the Kharghar police. Following this, we arrested him,” the officer said.