Diamond broker loses ₹1.16 crore to customs fraud

A 'friend from London' duped a diamond broker to the tune of Rs 1.16 crore on the pretext of sending him expensive gifts and dollars. The London friend on the pretext of love, lured the broker to the customs clearance fraud and cheated him.

According to the V P Road police a woman named Alex Zendra who claims to be a United Kingdom national, befriended the trader in the first week of October on his Instagram account. After a few days of chatting, the woman claimed that she was in love with the trader and told her about the desire to marry him.

The woman asked for the trader's office address and told him that she wanted to send him expensive gifts and sent him a few photographs of the same as well. On the very next day, the trader received a call from one Maya Chatri, who claimed to a customs officer and told him that they have received gifts sent by Zendra and asked the trader to pay customs duty of Rs 35,000. Believing them, the trader paid the charges but this was just the beginning.

Zendra then claimed that she wanted to start a gold business in India and claimed that she is sending USD 5 lakh. On very next day the trader received a call from Chatri who informed him about receiving the parcel and told him to pay tax amount since the amount was huge. The trader then paid Rs 60 lakh to the account mentioned by Chatri.

A couple of days later, the trader received a call from one Johnson Williams purportedly calling customs department and informed him of receiving Rs 4 crore and called him to Delhi, believing him the trader went to Delhi and met Johnson, who seemed like a Nigerian national in a hotel.

Johnson showed him the dollars which were having stamps of trader's fathers name and further told him to pay another Rs 17 lakh as conversion charges. The trader who wasn't carrying the cash then, came to Mumbai and paid the money. According to the police, Johnson then continued to ask more money on different pretexts.

After paying Rs 1.16 crore when he did not receive anything, the trader narrated the incident to his family members who told him that he had been cheated and asked him to approach the cops.

Following the complaint we have registered an offence of cheating and under under the relevant sections of Information Technology act and we are trying to trace the accused with the help of their bank details and their mobile number said a police officer from V P Road police station.

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