Two foreigners arrested in oxygen racket case

People outside an oxygen-refill plant at Mayapuri Industrial Area.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Two foreign nationals were arrested for allegedly cheating people on the pretext of providing oxygen cylinders, the police said on Sunday.

The accused were using more than 20 bank accounts and had duped more than ₹2 crore from over 1,000 people across India, said the officers.

The accused have been identified as Cheema Benneth (42), hailing from Nigeria and Jonathan Kojo (44), a permanent resident of Ghana, they said.

On May 5, one complainant reported that he was in need of an oxygen cylinder for his relative who was suffering from COVID-19 and found a phone number on social media, the police said.

When the complainant contacted the alleged person, he asked him to pay ₹16,000 for the oxygen cylinder and ₹4,000 as transport charges, following which the complainant transferred ₹20,000.

The accused assured him that the cylinder would be delivered to his address. However, the victim did not receive any cylinder and when he tried to contact the accused, they blocked his number, a senior police officer said.

“During investigation, it was found that the foreign nationals were part of a cheating racket. On Thursday, the police apprehended Benneth from Green Park, South Delhi. On his instance, his accomplice Kojo was also arrested on Saturday,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shibesh Singh said. The police recovered 163 SIM cards, 19 mobile phones, five laptops, four debit cards and other articles.

Social media

During interrogation, Benneth disclosed that he along with his accomplices in India and abroad were cheating people through different modes. After seeing the rising demand for oxygen cylinders in Delhi, they planned to cheat people through social media. They flashed their mobile numbers on different social media platforms promising to provide oxygen cylinders to needy, the police said.

The accused disclosed that he collected phone numbers of needy people from social media and along with his accomplices, started sending messages to them regarding availability of oxygen cylinders.

One of the accomplices in Bangalore provided bank accounts to receive the cheated money after which equal share was deposited in their respective bank accounts. Their other accomplices in Africa too assisted in this fraud.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 7:24:45 PM |

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