Cops bust Nigerian gangs that ran luxury car racket on the Net

Suspects clicked photos of automobiles at KIA, put them up 'for sale' on Quikr, OLX

Cops bust Nigerian gangs that  ran luxury car racket on the Net

Police have arrested eight people, including six Nigerian nationals and a woman from Tamil Nadu, on the charge of duping several people by promising them high-end cars at low prices.

The suspects would take photographs of high-end cars parked at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and then advertise them on portals like Quikr and OLX.

The prime suspect is Bolaji Lawal Desmond, 36. His wife Averil Lawal, 24, and other members of the gang—Chuka Okpala, 30, Okjie Colling, 28, Oja Lawal, 30, and Cristian Obina, 31—were also apprehended. Police have seized two cars, laptops, pen drives, memory cards and some affidavits from them. Averil, a native of Tamil Nadu, had married the prime suspect. The couple were living in Seshadri Nagar. Their associates were based out of Tamil Nadu. They had come to India on business and student visas.

Their modus operandi was simple and ingenious: They would offer the high-end cars at throwaway prices. If car afficionados called on the contact number posted on the websites, that person would pretend to be the “owner who is selling the automobiles because I’m leaving India”. Once the customer agreed to buy the car, that person would ask them to contact Averil, “who is a customs officer and will take you through the procedure of buying the car.”

When the caller contacted her, she would ask them to pay up customs duty and parking charges, in addition to the price of the car. She would give her bank account details and ask them to deposit the money and take delivery of the car. Once the customer was convinced and paid the money, the suspects would withdraw the money immediately, switch off their mobile phones and go into hiding.

Labhu Ram, DCP, West, said: “Members of this gang would click pictures of high-end cars parked in the Kempegowda International Airport parking lot and advertise them on Quikr and OLX at low prices. The customers would be attracted by the low prices as the cars actually cost anywhere between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.”

Police said they busted the racket following a complaint by one of the victims, Shekar, who was cheated of a few lakhs of rupees by the gang.

According to Shekhar, he had come across an advertisement on OLX, which offered a Honda City at just Rs three lakh. He thought it was a good deal because the car is actually priced much higher. He called on the contact number and fell into the trick. He then filed a complaint at the Chickpet police station.

Police suspect that this gang has cheated many more people of lakhs of rupees in a similar fashion. The suspects also advertised laptops and other electronic gadgets. Their interrogation also revealed that they even advertised for jobs overseas and had cheated many unemployed youth.

The other gang

In another case, police arrested two men for cheating several people by the same trick. Three of their accomplices are said to be at large.

While Ehibhi Ehis, 27, a Nigerian from Kothanur, and Indrani, 25, a resident of RT Nagar, landed in police net, their accomplices, Joseph, also a Nigerian, and Sophia and Muralidhar, from Bengaluru, are currently absconding.

Police busted this gang following a complaint by one Srinivas, who said he was cheated of Rs 95,000 in similar fashion.

Commissioner of Police M N Reddi has urged members of the public to approach the cyber crime cell if they have been cheated similarly. Police will investigate whether the same gang has been involved, Reddi added.

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