Ghanaian national, three 'Hawala' operators arrested for '419 Fraud'

Ghanaian national,  three 'Hawala' operators arrested for '419 Fraud'

They ‘duped’ a man of US $400,000 by promising to convert ‘black’ dollar notes into genuine bills

A Ghanaian national and three alleged Hawala operators have been arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bangalore police for the ‘419 Nigerian Fraud’. 

The CCB said it arrested Edmond Kotey Sbo Kotey, 35, a Ghanian national who was living in Mumbai, and three Hawala operators — Dinesh Bai Patel, 43, Vipul kumar Patel, 24, and Mahesh Kumar Patel, 32, all residents of Nagarathpet — on a complaint by Ananth Vasubeb, a resident of Mahadevapura. It also impounded a passport and Rs 10 lakh from them. 

Ananth alleged that Kotey had “duped” him of US $400,000. He said he gave the money to the suspect after he showed him how to convert ‘black’ (counterfeit) dollar notes into genuine bills. 

In his complaint to the police, Ananth said he fell prey to Kotey’s “tricks” as he was eager to invest huge sums of money in businesses which could give him quick, significant returns. 

According to Ananth, Kotey first met him in Mumbai where he gave him a suitcase, containing ‘black’ dollar bills in return for Rs 85,000. Thereafter, he promised to meet Ananth in Bangalore shortly and convert them into genuine notes. 

Later, Kotey came to meet Ananth in Bangalore. He opened the suitcase containing stacks of ‘black’ dollar notes and two bottles of different solutions. Kotey, Ananth recalled, took a genuine dollar note and kept it in the centre of two black dollar bills.

He then poured the solution from one bottle and covered the three notes with a newspaper for 10 minutes. All the three notes turned black. Later, he poured solution from the other bottle and covered the notes for a few minutes. The three notes turned into genuine dollar bills, the CCB said, quoting Ananth. 

Kotey then asked Ananth to get him 500 original dollar notes, and returned to Mumbai. Ananth arranged 400 original dollars notes of 100 denomination by obtaining loans. 

Once Kotey learnt that the money was ready, he came to Bangalore. He poured a solution on all the original dollar notes and kept one original dollar note between the two black bills. He covered them with a newspaper and an adhesive tape. According to Ananth, Kotey diverted his attention and replaced the stacks of 400 original dollars notes with the counterfeit bills. 

Kotey then claimed the solution in a bottle had hardened and required charging to liquefy. He gave Ananth the counterfeit notes, asking him to keep them in the refrigerator so that they could liquefy. He then went to Mumbai. Later, he demanded Rs two lakh from Ananth through Hawala to liquefy the hardened solution. But Ananth had grown suspicious by then and approached the police. 

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