Nigerian held for duping Gurgaon woman

Gurgaon, Jan 20: A Nigerian man was arrested from Mumbai for duping a Gurgaon woman of Rs.51,000 on the pretext of marrying her, police said Monday.

The accused was identified as John Ikena Oputa, 35, and was arrested from Vashi of Navi Mumbai Jan 18.

Oputa was Monday presented in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Rajesh Sharma here. The court handed over the accused to police on two days’ remand.

The victim, 35, a resident of Gurgaon, came in contact with the accused on website Dec 13. The accused (Oputa) posed as Edward Smith from Scotland.

“Edward Smith (Oputa) and the victim decided to marry. The woman asked Smith to visit India (so he could meet her parents),” Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Vivek Sharma told IANS.

A room in a Gurgaon five-star hotel was booked for Smith for three days and two nights.

“Smith (Oputa) called the woman Dec 30, saying: ‘I have landed at Mumbai airport but have been detained by the Customs officers as I was carrying 1.8 million pounds (Rs.18 crore) draft’ and told the family that one Joe Peterson from the Scotland embassy would contact them,” the officer said.

Some time after Oputa’s call, Joe Paterson (an accomplice) asked the woman over phone to deposit Rs.51,000 in a bank account, which she complied.

After some time, Peterson again called, asking her to deposit Rs.2.80 lakh in the Reserve Bank of India for Smith’s safe release but provided a private bank account number.

The woman smelt a rat and complained to the police.

A case under sections 406 (breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 34 (common intent) of the IPC and section 12 of the Passport Act was registered at the Sadar police station.

The case was later transferred to the Cyber Cell for investigation. Its chief, Suresh Kumar, and his team arrested the accused on technical evidences.

Police froze the account in which the woman had deposited Rs.51,000, as it had a total sum of Rs.3.80 lakh.

An identity card of a Nigerian Student and Community Welfare Association, Bombay, five sim cards and 12 debit cards were recovered from the arrested man.

“Some more arrests will be made soon,” said the officer.