Ongole: Nigerian, 2 others held for cheating

Ongole: Nigerian, 2 others held for cheating
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Prakasam district SP Siddharth Kaushal disclosing the details of cheating case in Ongole on Tuesday
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Ongole: The Prakasam district police arrested a gang comprising a Nigerian national and two others from Uttar Pradesh for duping a man from Podili to t...

Ongole: The Prakasam district police arrested a gang comprising a Nigerian national and two others from Uttar Pradesh for duping a man from Podili to the tune of Rs 14.67 lakh in the name of charity.

Giving details of the crime at a press conference here on Tuesday, district SP Siddharth Kaushal said Velpula Achaiah, an engineering graduate from Podili started following the Facebook page of DP Joshua Ministries of Nigeria. He was contacted by the page administrators in the name of conducting prayers for family members and they slowly lured him into believing that they were going to construct churches and hospitals for the poor in India at a cost of US $240 crore and offered a share of 20 per cent, if he could join them in maintaining the assets. Achaiah hooked to the bait and paid Rs 14.67 lakh in the name of various "charges and taxes" to bring foreign funds into the country to start construction of churches.

After realising that he was deceived, Achaiah lodged a complaint with the Podili police. Podili CI V Sriram investigated the case and collected technical data based on the bank accounts where the victim deposited the money. A team led by Konakanamitla sub-inspector M V Naik went to New Delhi for the further investigation and arrest of the accused. The team spent few days in Delhi tracking the accused and arrested Onyech Hyginus alias Peter Danial, a native of Anambra state in Nigeria and his aides Shahid Khan and Mohammad Yaqoob, of Bareili in Uttar Pradesh and residents of New Delhi. The police seized five mobile phones, 22 bank cheque books, nine debit cards, a Nigerian ID card from the possession of the accused men.

The SP appreciated the work done by the Podili police, including Darsi DSP K Prakash Rao, SB II CI N Srikanth Babu, Podili CI V Sriram, Podili SI K Suresh, Konakanamitla SI Naik and others and announced that bank accounts would be frozen immediately. He said that the prime accused and Nigerian national came to India in the garb of a football coach in 2012 and was arrested by the Delhi police in 2014 for overstay. He served two-year simple imprisonment at Tihar jail under Section 14 of Foreigners Act and had been absconding since his release, but started to cheat people in the name of DP Joshua Ministries.

Siddharth Kaushal appealed to people to not fall prey to fraudsters and requested them to alert them immediately if any person promises them something for free, as it was an act of cheating. He advised that no person should disclose the OTP numbers to anybody as the bank officials never ask for them and urged people not to respond to emails and messages offering prizes in lotteries and lucky draws.

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