The Vile Parle police have booked a father-son duo for allegedly duping a 42-year-old unmarried cosmetologist of Rs 61.55 lakh. The accused met the victim on a matrimonial site in January last year, and lured her into a trap by promising to marry her. The accused sent her fraudulent mails and portrayed that a joint account had been created in their names and made her deposit money on various occasions.
The accused who had registered himself on the matrimonial site by the name Manoj Joseph had claimed that he was a resident of Australia, and that he worked in the United Kingdom. He also claimed that he has a construction business in India and that he regularly visits Delhi for business.
Days after the woman accepted his marriage proposal, she received a massage purportedly from an international bank stating that Joseph had opened a joint account with their names. Couple of days later, she received another mail from the 'bank' informing that ₹ 4.5 lakh had been deposited in the account. When she enquired with Manoj who claimed that he wanted to start a business in India and for easier transaction he had deposited the money, the woman believed all this to be real, said police.
According to the police, the fraudsters posing as bank officials continued to demand money from her, initially she was made to pay ₹ 4.5 lakh as activation charges, later they demanded ₹ 22.5 lakh for anti terrorism clearance certificate and later by fraud clearance certificate and continued to dupe her with different reasons.
The fraud continued for over a year, on May 25 the woman made last payment after which one Henry Joseph posing as Manoj's dad called her and said that Manoj had been arrested in drugs case. Few days later she received a mail informing her that Manoj has been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment while his father had passed away. It was then she realised that she had been duped all along and approached the police.
Senior inspector Alka Mandave of Vile Parle police station has confirmed registration of offence of cheating along with relevant sections of Information technology act.
The police are trying to trace their mobile numbers and have written to banks for accounts details in which the money had been deposited money. The money has been transferred in different bank accounts across the country, and as it was going on for over a year most of the amount likely to have been withdrawn, said a police officer.