Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kalyan doc falls prey to great Nigerian fraud

Mumbai: The Mahatma Phule police in Kalyan on Saturday arrested a Nigerian man and an Indian woman for allegedly duping a Kalyan-based 35-yearold medical practitioner last month.

The accused promised Sainath Dhoipode a job at a healthcare centre in the UK for which he was asked to shell out Rs 1.95 lakh for processing the visa and air tickets. Police officials said Dhoipode got suspicious when the accused, identified as Tibakno Zeelesle, demanded Rs 2 lakh more to get the documents processed faster.

Officials, after a complaint from Dhoipode, nabbed the two accused from Kalina in Santa Cruz. They were identified as Zeelesle (24) and 47-year-old Elizabeth Jessino, booked under sections 34 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Both have been remanded to police custody till February 5.

Dhoipode received a job offer via e-mail in January. It showed a vacancy for a medical practitioner’s post in the UK. Dhoipode, in his complaint, said: “I replied to the e-mail to gather more information and the formalities required to apply for the opening. The same day, I received a reply asking me to pay Rs 1.95 lakh to process documents.’’ Zeelesle asked Dhoipode to deposit the money to the Bank of Baroda branch in Kalina. “But I got suspicious when I didn’t receive a reply within a few days of paying the money. I contacted the person but he demanded Rs 2 lakh more,’’ the complaint said.

Senior inspector Shrimant Ghule of Mahatma Phule police station said: “The bank transaction by Dhoipode helped us track down the recipient’s residential address.’’ The accountholder, Jessino, is a Kalina resident and Zeelesle is her tenant.

The officer said the police were likely to arrest three other Nigerians who were part of the racket.

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