Mumbai Crime: 'Suitor' on matrimonial website dupes widow of Rs 43 lakh

Posing as a UK national, the accused asked the 42-year-old woman to transfer money to his account on various pretexts; the victim realised she’d been cheated when the man stopped taking her calls

A widow from Dongri was cheated of her life’s savings by an unscrupulous man posing as a suitor on a matrimonial website. The victim realised she’d been duped only after the accused man stopped taking her phone calls, after having taken more than Rs 43 lakh of her money. The case has been registered with the Dongri police.

The woman has told the police she has no money left with her. Pic for representation/Thinkstock
The woman has told the police she has no money left with her. Pic for representation/Thinkstock

According to the police, the 42-year-old woman, a nurse by profession, lost her husband in 1996. He used to work in the Merchant Navy and died when his ship sank. An officer from the Dongri police, requesting anonymity, said, “Since the time her husband died, she wished to marry again.

So, after consulting her 21-year-old daughter, she posted her profile on a matrimonial website in February 2014. By the end of that month, a man posing as one Henry Young Smith struck up a conversation online.” The duo exchanged phone numbers and began talking on the phone.

The complainant, in her statement to the police, said she had grown emotionally attached to Smith. By the end of March, Smith began asking for financial help saying his mother was admitted in hospital. “The accused claimed he was originally from UK, but had recently shifted to the US due to work issues.

The first transaction took place on March 29, 2014 after he claimed his mother was serious and admitted to the ICU. The man said his cash was in possession of his business partner, and that he would return the victim’s money as soon as he got it,” the officer said.

The accused continued to extract money from the unsuspecting woman and till November 15, 2014, the victim had transferred Rs 43,42,129 through 16 different transactions. “Smith either took money on the pretext of his mother’s illness, or saying he had lost his ATM card. Thinking it was an emergency, the woman helped him.”

The nurse realised she had been cheated when she asked for her money and even called him to meet her in Mumbai. However, Smith started ignoring the woman and stopped receiving her phone calls. The victim then approached Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria, who sent her application to Dongri police station.

After police made initial inquiries, they registered the case on February 7. The woman also told the police she had no money left. Neetu Tayade, assistant police inspector and investigating officer in the case, confirmed said, “We sent letters to the banks from where she transferred her money.

We are investigating the case and trying to trace the accused who has been duping women across the city.” The accused has been booked under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code, along with Section 66D of the Information Technology Act.

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