Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nigerian national held for lottery fraud - The Hindu - 21 May 2009

CHENNAI: The Crime Branch CID police arrested a Nigerian national accused of masterminding an online lottery fraud along with his associates and cheating a resident of Kalpakkam here of Rs. 14.68 lakh.

Festos alias Murphy Vazigo Agbaifa (38) of Nasik who was already arrested by the Mumbai police and lodged in the Nasik central prison was arrested on May 12 and brought to Chennai on Wednesday.

According to CBCID sources, K. Ramamoorthy of Kalpakkam in Kancheepuram district had lodged a complaint with the agency that he received spam e-mails purported to have been sent from MSN/Yahoo Lottery Award congratulating him for winning an online lottery worth Rs. 4 crore in December 2007. The accused persons sent emails asking him to remit a sum of Rs.14.68 lakh towards service and transfer charges into various bank accounts.

After getting the money, the accused neither sent the lottery award nor refunded his money. Investigation disclosed that the bank accounts were opened in the name of various persons in Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Hyderabad. Investigators of the Cyber Crime Cell arrested one of the 14 accused R. Stephen alias Vijay Stephen March 4 in Chennai.

Another accused, Mukesh Anand Chudasama of Bhayander-East, Thana, Mumbai, was apprehended on May 7. The addresses of the other account-holders when verified in Mumbai were found to be fake. Further investigation revealed that Murphy Vazigo Agbaifa masterminded the crime and operated along with his associates in Mumbai and other places and cheated gullible people.

On information that he was already arrested by the Mumbai police in connection with another online fraud case, police arrested him in the Nasik prison.

The accused was produced before J. Sridevi, II Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, who remanded him to judicial custody.

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