His associate is a woman from Mumbai

A man from Nigeria and a woman from Mumbai were arrested by the Kollam Crime Branch CID from Mumbai on charges of an Internet fraud. The duo is reported to have offered a business deal in a new oil preparation with aphrodisiac properties.

The identity of the arrested Nigerian was given as Frank Ogbonnaya and that of the woman as Jyotsna Ahluwalia.

The fraud, with similarities of a typical Nigerian letter scam, was a fraudulent e-mail that hit inboxes.

The message called for financial partnership in exporting the oil to Nigeria and promised that it would fetch a profit of more than $25,000 a gallon. A businessman from Thiruvananthapuram, Anil Kumar, fell prey to the offer and responded.

Crime Branch sleuths feel that more Nigerians and Indians are involved in the fraud. Frank is one of the kingpins. The woman was closely associated with the gang and that she and Frank had often talked to Anil Kumar on mobile phones. Once the deal was fixed, Anil was asked to deposit his share in ten different bank accounts in Mumbai, which he did.

According to his complaint, he had deposited about Rs.1.5 crore in these accounts. He was informed that the accounts are operated by persons who would be supplying the raw material to prepare the oil. But once the deposits were made, there was no contact from the Mumbai side. Anil then lodged a complaint with State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian.

The complaint was then directed to Additional Director General of Police, Crime Branch, Vinson M. Paul, who in turn handed it over to the Kollam Crime Branch for investigations. Crime Branch officials based their probe on the mobile phone towers from where Frank and Jyothsana had called Anil.

They went to Mumbai along with Anil and soon tracked down Frank and nabbed him with the help of the local police. It was based on his confessions that Jyothsana was arrested.

The police said the bank accounts with bogus addresses were opened by her. The police suspect that the gang could have cheated more persons.