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Odisha Businessman Cheated Of Rs 35 Lakh By Conmen Posing As London Based Pharma Executives

CUTTACK: A bunch of unnamed cyber hackers defrauded a Cuttack-based businessman and his partner of over Rs 35 lakh by impersonating top employees of a reputable London-based pharmaceutical company.

The incident was brought to light after the victim, Nagen Barik, filed a complaint with the Crime Branch’s cyber police station in Cuttack on Wednesday.

The police have registered a case against some individuals who received the Rs 35 lakh in different phases in their bank accounts under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged documents to be genuine), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and other relevant sections of the IT Act.

According to Crime Branch sources, two scammers posing as Simon Collins and Robert Wood sent mail to Barik on August 11, 2020. Collins and Wood allegedly pretended to be the business development manager and director of Britannia Pharmaceutical Limited, a company situated in the United Kingdom.

Because Barik works with pharmaceutical seeds, the conmen duped him into buying high-quality medicinal seeds from their company. The imposters demanded Rs 58,200 for each packet of seeds. They provided the phone number and bank account information for their West Bengal agent.

Barik fell into the trap and transferred Rs 58,200 to the account on August 12, 2020, without confirming any facts. He didn’t stop there, though. After being convinced by persons he had never seen, Barik and his associate Praveen Kumar allegedly formed more business arrangements with them and sent approximately Rs 35 lakh to the conmen. When they did not get any products from the company, they realised they had been duped.

Despite enormous awareness efforts organised by the police and government at regular intervals, cybercrime continues unabated. Several fraud cases have been reported to the state Crime Branch in recent days. While cyber criminals unlawfully stole Rs 10.10 lakh from a senior IPS officer’s wife’s bank account, a Koraput-based guy lost over Rs 75 lakh to cyber crooks who gave him a Rs 1.5 crore insurance bonus.

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