PUNE: A 28-year-old Congolese woman was arrested after being detained upon landing at Delhi airport in response to a Lookout Circular (LOC) issued against her by the Pimpri Chinchwad police in a case of cyber fraud via a dating website.
The accused woman, identified as Biyu Nyamaembelo Octavie (28), who had come to India on a student visa and was living in Bengaluru at the time of the crime, was detained by authorities at Delhi airport on August 19 in response to a LOC issued following the requisition from Pimpri Chinchwad police.
Octavie was arrested by Pimpri Chinchwad police after being detained at the airport, and a three-day transit remand was obtained from the Patiala House court.
Details of her arrest were released to the media after she appeared in court in Pune and was remanded to police custody.
In January 2021, a 40-year-old woman filed a First Information Report (FIR) at Wakad police station after being cheated to the tune of Rs 12.3 lakh by cyber fraudsters who used a fake profile of a divorced cosmetic surgeon from the United States on an online dating and matchmaking portal.
Officials stated that the complainant’s trust was gained through video calls and even the showing of purported videos of the US-based hospital.
According to her complaint, the ‘cosmetic surgeon’ promised to marry her and then settle in India.
After a few weeks of communication, the complainant was asked to make fund transfers, initially under the guise of treating the’surgeon’s’ mother’s head injury and obtaining some medicinal seeds from a Bengaluru-based entity for her treatment.
She was later duped when she was told that the seeds had worked and funds were sought under the guise of starting a business with those seeds. More funds were requested, claiming that the’surgeon’ had been detained at the airport by Customs officials on his way back to India.
The complainant and her family had lost Rs 12.3 lakh to cyber fraudsters by the time they realised they had been duped.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Anand Bhoite, the suspects in the case were identified after an investigation into various leads, and it was discovered that they were operating out of Bengaluru.
When a team of investigators arrived in Bengaluru in January of this year, they discovered that Octavie, a Congolese national, had already left the country, but her male accomplice remained. He did, however, manage to elude the cops. The police recovered a laptop, pen drives, and cell phones after searching his Bengaluru home.
The investigation into these devices provided police with leads on the online fraud. According to the investigation, the two had been living in Bengaluru under false identities after arriving in India on student visas.
As the investigation progressed, a LOC was issued against Octavie, and she was detained by immigration officials on August 19 when she returned to India. She is now in police custody, and police are still looking for her male accomplice.
“We are now investigating whether the arrested woman was involved in other cases of cyber fraud. Further investigation is underway,” said Inspector Patil.
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