Mumbai Crime: Aarey police bust international fraud racket; two arrested

Updated: Sep 17, 2019, 15:07 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

The Aarey police connected the links one after the other and arrested the two people from New Delhi and Kharghar in Navi Mumbai on Monday

The accused Sonia Rafique Khan. Pics/Samiullah Khan
The accused Sonia Rafique Khan. Pics/Samiullah Khan

The Aarey police station arrested two more people in connection with the international fraud racket. The arrested, identified by the police as Sonia Rafique Khan (33) and Nigerian national Ebuka Jhon (31), would allegedly cheat people in the pretext of marriages. They would send parcels and couriers as gifts and investments in the business.

When the Aarey police caught another Nigerian national named Stephen Nebusel last week in connection with this case, he confessed to the crime but did not reveal the name and addresses of the other members of a gang. The police officials dug out the evidence from the electronic gadgets recovered from him, during house search in Pune After accessing the data, they connected the links one after the other and arrested the two people from New Delhi and Kharghar in Navi Mumbai on Monday.

According to a police officer, they have confessed of having 50 cases under them and committing the crimes with their gang members in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, and Delhi. The accused also told the police that most of their crimes were done in Mumbai and Pune, where they duped 20 and 16 people respectively in the last two years. They also confessed of duping a woman in Goa of Rs 84 lakh, Rs 57 lakh from a man from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh, and Rs 64 lakhs and Rs 18 lakhs from two women from Samta Nagar in Kandivli and Malvani respectively.

According to the police, their modus operandi was such that the approached their victims by sending them friend requests on social media and dating apps, posing as a potential partner and started chatting with them. Later, they would share their contact number and the accused would start talking to them.

"They would lure their victims by telling them that they belonged to rich families and their parents had died, leaving behind a lot of wealth, and thus would ask their hand for marriage. Once they get the victims in the confidence, they would lure them on the pretext of sending expensive gifts and parcels and demand money from them for paying the custom duty to release the gift, posing as custom officers," a police officer from Aarey police station added, further saying that the gang would also dupe the victims in the pretext of making investments and starting business in partnership with the victims.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Nigerian national arrested for fraud

The police also informed that as each gang members has given individual responsibility, Nebusel who was caught earlier was responsible for approaching the peoples, sending friend requests to the victims and tricking them to pay the amount. Then, Khan would call the victims posing as an officer from customs and other agencies from airports and demand the sum in the pretext of collecting custom duty.

"Khan, hailing from Dehli came into the contact of this gang several years ago when she was looking for a  job. In the meantime, she came in touch with Ebuke's elder brother who was involved in the fraud racket that brought her in this gang. When he died she come in contact with Ebuke, since she was working with him and was getting 20 per cent commission for every fraud," the officer added.

fraudEboke Jhon being escorted by police officers.

According to the police, she was responsible for victim posing as custom officers and Ebuke would provide the bank details of the victims to transfer the amount. It was found that Ebuke used to buy and also take bank account on rent from people residing in various states in India.

To receive the 10 to 20 per cent commission of the deposited amount, Ebuke would keep the ATM and debit card of all accounts with him and withdraw the amount immediately once the victim deposited money, the police officer added.

"This is a very unique kind of detection has done so far in India in terms of online fraud cases. Under the guidance of DCP DS Swami and the senior inspector Nutan Pawar, we have arrested the gang and busted the racket," said the PSI Avdhut Wadikar from Aarey police station.

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