Mumbai crime watch: Fraudster posing as foreign bank official dupes man for Rs 17 lakh

The Gamdevi police has registered an offence of online cheating after a 59-year-old person was allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 17 lakh. The cyber fraudster posing as a bank official of a foreign bank promised the victim 50% share in the investment of 40 million dollars made by an Indian national whose name was similar to that of the victim. The fraudster then made the victim pay for various charges.

In the month of May, the victim, a resident of Bhulabhai Desai Road, received an e-mail communication in which one Azar Ali Khwaja claimed to be a bank official from an Indonesian bank contacted the victim. In the e-mail, he claimed that one Indian national, Amitabh Barai, had invested 40 million dollars in their bank in 2005 and the investment period is about to end. Khwaja further said that, on May 27, 2006, Baria died during an earthquake. He also said that Bariya never married, nor did he have any heir.

In the e-mail, he said the current bank's director also knew details about Baria and would take the money, but he will not allow this to happen. Since the victim

and Baria shared a similar name, Khwaja asked for his help and, in return, promised to give him 50% share in the investment while keeping the remainder with himself.

Once the victim agreed, Khwaja started demanding money for various reasons, including advocate fees, payment to the World Bank as clearance charges and so on. After spending Rs 17.34 lakh over seven months, the victim realised that he had been duped and approached the Gamdevi police station with a complaint.

"We have registered an offence on Wednesday and we are in the process of getting bank account details in which the money had been deposited," said police.

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