Lure of cheap phone in online ad costs engineer Rs 1.58 lakh

The lure of the latest smartphone at an eye-popping low price cost an engineer much more than he had bargained for. One Deepak Chawla had advertised on an online portal about a brand new iPhone 5C worth Rs 50,000 which he was selling for Rs 32,000. Aditya Naik, an engineer who resides at RNA Heights, Juhu-Vikhroli Link road, came across the ad and got in touch with the seller via email. Naik deposited Rs 32,000 in Chawla’s bank account. Later, Chawla told Naik that the courier companies were not accepting the delivery of just one product and if he was willing to buy two more phones by paying only Rs 60,000, he could get yet another two for free.

“Accordingly, Naik deposited Rs 60,000 and was also asked to pay half the shipping charge, that is, Rs 15,000, while the advertiser promised to pay the other half. Later, Chawla got in touch with Naik again, asking him to pay the customs duty and deposit Rs 32,000 to this end in his account. Naik deposited around Rs 1,58,000 in total in Chawla’s account but realised that he was not getting the phones and approached us,” said Nandkishore More, senior inspector, Cyber Crime Cell of BKC police station.

Tracing the IMEI number of the dongle, bank account details and CCTV footage of the ATM in Delhi from where the accused withdrew the cash, the police traced a Nigerian national, Henry C Smith, and arrested him. “Henry was using the bank accounts of his colleagues whom we are tracing. We have seized around nine SIM cards and 15 debit cards from him,” said More. Henry will be in police custody till January 2. 

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