A.V. Ragunathan

They befriended the victims on the net

One lost Rs. 35 lakh and the other person Rs. 15 lakh

CUDDALORE: Two instances of cheating to the tune of Rs. 50 lakh by South Africans in Cuddalore and Villupuram district have come to the notice of police.

The modus operandi of the foreigners is to develop friendship with Indian nationals on the Internet. After gaining their confidence, they would offer lucrative offers in foreign currencies that would turn out to be fake. Police said a South African, Armand Christian (38), struck friendship with Bhaskaran (42), a Reader in the Civil and Structural Engineering Department of Annamalai University at Chidambaram, on the net.

He made an offer to Mr. Bhasakaran: If he arranged Eurodollars equivalent of Rs 35 lakh, he would get it exchanged for US dollars to the tune of Rs. 10 crore. Impressed by the offer, Mr. Bhaskaran paid the airfare for Armand Christian and accommodated him in a hotel at Chidambaram.

After disposing of his assets, Mr. Bhaskaran bought the Eurodollars from a money changer at Puducherry. He handed over the Eurodollars to Armand Christian, who asked Mr. Bhaskaran to meet him the next morning.

But the next day, Mr. Bhaskaran learnt that Armand Christian had checked out at 3 a.m. He filed a police complaint.

In another instance, M.Sekar, a contractor at Idyanchavadi in Villupuram, lost Rs.15 lakh to Aden Michael, another South African, who befriended him on the Internet.

In a petition to Superintendent of Police A.Amalraj the contractor stated that Michael promised to double the money.

After enjoying the hospitality of the contractor for a couple of days, Michael took away the money.