New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) Every day, several phone calls were being received at the Customs office that “the Customs officers are demanding money to clear parcel and couriers”. When the matter was brought to the notice of senior officers, an investigation into the matter revealed the fraudsters are using names and letterheads of various senior officials to dupe people over clearing the parcels from abroad, in New Delhi’s IGI Airport.
A complaint in this regard was filed by Vinod Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Customs, IGI Airport, alleging that online frauds are going on in the name of the Chief Commissioner of Customs (Delhi Zone) and other Customs officers.
Instances have come to notice where people have been cheated by unscrupulous elements.
During the course of the investigation, on September 6, an alleged bank account holder Shelly Achhumi, 41, a resident of Mahavir Enclave, New Delhi, a permanent resident of Nagaland, was traced and later arrested.
She had provided her bank account for 8 per cent commission to other co-accused Christian Anthony Maduneme alias Chris, 32, a Nigerian national residing in Noida, adjoining the national capital.
On sustained interrogation, Shelly revealed that she handed over the details of account numbers and SIM cards to Chris — who was arrested later.
The accused used to influence the mindset of the victims emotionally, on the pretext of marriage or friendship.
In one such case, an accused contacted the victim through a matrimonial site and collected their mobile number, Facebook ID, WhatsApp number, etc.
Thereafter, the accused began contacting the victim over the phone and chatting apps. She impersonated herself as Anita Saha (Amsterdam) and desired to visit India for marriage and tourism purposes.
“Upon arrival in India, she posed that she had been intercepted by Customs officials at IGI Airport as she was carrying articles and jewellery beyond the permissible limit. Also, the other accused persons impersonated themselves as custom officials and directed the victim to pay a Custom fee of Rs 47,900, and other subsequent amounts in Indian bank accounts,” said Rajeev Ranjan, DCP, IGI Airport.
Gradually, the accused involved in the scam demanded more money citing issues like charges and levy fees, duty fees, etc.
The unsuspecting victim followed the instructions one after another and deposited huge sums of money in different Indian bank accounts as provided by these scamsters.
From this particular victim, the fraudsters extracted more than Rs 69 lakh, so far.
The accused named in the case also cheated some other persons using a similar modus operandi.
Further investigation into the case is underway.