The Criminal Investigation Department of police has busted a gift scam ring and arrested 12 Nigerian citizens, along with a Bangladeshi woman, at Pallabi in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The ring members exploited social media platforms to cheat people in the name of gift exchange while the Bangladeshi woman used to swindle money from the victims posing as a customs officer, said CID officials in a briefing on Wednesday.
The arrested are Nandika Clenent Chakengu, 32, Cletus Achuna, 31, Onyekulve Timety Chinongce, 30, Ekene Wisdom, 30, Chigozie , 30, Evunde Gabril Obinna, 30, Celestine Patrick Obiajulu, 30, Mordi Nnamdi Collins, 30, Ordu Chukwudi Sammy, 30, Ndubuokwn Somayina, 30, Nzerem Precious Ekeme, 30, Nwoke Wisdom Chikwado, 30, and Bangladeshi national Rahat Ara Khanam alias Farjana Uddin.
They also seized five laptops, 14 mobile phones, and a huge number of mobile SIM cards from their possession.
CID additional deputy inspector general Sheikh Md Rezaul Haider said that the accused swindled Tk five to six crore from more than 100 victims across the country in the past two months.
The ring members become Facebook friends and offer expensive gifts from a fake messenger ID named Katherine Cullen Sophia. The victims then get an airline booking document with a list of expensive gift items. They are finally instructed to collect the gift boxes containing ‘goods worth million dollars’ from the Chittagong Airport Customs, Rezaul Haider said.
‘Farjana, in the guise of a customs commissioner, pressurised victims to accept the so called gifts against a deposit of Tk 4,25,000 in several bank accounts. She also intimidated the victims saying that there would be legal complications if they did not receive the gifts,’ he said.
The CID has found that the scammers befriend people of the opposite sex on Facebook and cheat them.
A victim, who filed a complaint with the law enforcing agency, was forced to deposit Tk 3,73,000 in various bank accounts provided by Farjana.