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Police Busts Notorious Cyber Crime Gang

The Rachakonda cybercrime police today arrested a Delhi-based gang of five cyber criminals who had been duping people using Facebook.
Hyderabad | 8th January 2021
The Rachakonda cybercrime police today arrested a notorious gang of five cyber criminals who had been duping innocent citizens using the social media.

The gang members, identified as Akpalu Godstime of the Republic of Ghana, Adjel Gift Osas and P Kromah Oyibo N of the Republic of Liberia, and P Ehigiator Daniel and Nkeki Confidence David of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, were arrested for running a catfishing scam - they would pretend to be women and befriend men over Facebook, and then ask the men for money on various pretexts.

They would often also masquerade as customs officials.

Godstime was found to be the mastermind behind the crimes.

The police were first alerted of the gang's misdeeds in November, 2020, when they received a complaint from a man who said that he had been duped by a someone claiming to be a woman named Sophia Alex who he had befriended over Facebook, and had been communicating with over WhatsApp and phone calls.

The complainant said that he had been tricked into believing that Alex was an Australian-born single mother who was currently living in London, UK.

"The fraud victim was told by Sophia Alex, whose part was played by Akpalu Godstime, that she had arrived in Mumbai and would soon be visiting Hyderabad to meet him. However, he later received a phone call from P Kromah Oyibo, one of the other gang members, playing the part of a woman customs official. Oyibo fooled him into believing that Sophia had been caught carrying 75,000 pounds in cash, gold chains and mobile phones into the country, and had therefore been retained by the airport's customs officials. Oyibo then asked the victim for a hefty sum in order to free her belongings. By the time he realised that he had been duped, the victim had already shelled out Rs 4.83 lakh over multiple transactions to the gang. It was then that he approached us on November 28 seeking redress," Rachakonda Commissioner of Police Mahesh Bhagawat said.

"We have apprehended the five members, and have booked them under IPC sections 417, 419 and 420, and under various provisions of the IT Act. We will also be invoking the PD Act against them," he added.

Revealing further details, Bhagwat said that the gang members were operating out of Delhi, and had been cheating gullible people from across the country and the state using the Dingtone app, which would allow them to show their calls as coming from a foreign country.

"We have already identified three other cases registered with the Hyderabad cybercrime police against the gang, and are expecting a few more cases to surface," he said.

The CP said that the scam was a lesson to all internet users on cyber safety, and reminded them not to befriend strangers over the social media.
filed in:  Crime, Cyber Crime, Hyderabad Police, Police, Arrests, Scams, Social Media, Facebook , Cheating
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