Police arrest three persons for defrauding around Rs150 million through social media platformsPeter Herman, a Nigerian national believed to be currently residing in India is the mastermind of the scams, says police.
The Metropolitan Crime Division, Teku, has arrested three people for their alleged involvement in duping around Rs150 million from over a dozen people through an online lottery scam.
Ramesh Khadka, 52, of Dolakha, Bisheshwar Prasad Tiwari, 37, and Sandip Kalwar, 19, both of Nawalparasi, were arrested on different dates in the last few days.
“Upon interrogation, it was revealed that they used to operate the scam through social media platforms by claiming that the victims had won a lottery. The frauds then lured customers to deposit amounts in their bank account,” said Ishwar Karki, superintendent at the division.
Acting on complaints filed by more than a dozen victims, the division had initiated an investigation, which led to the arrest of the three men from inside and outside the Kathmandu Valley.
“The scammers were found extracting sum ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs150,000 from individuals on the pretext of giving them lottery winnings, parcels and expensive gifts,” said Karki. “Around 15 victims are in contact with the police, but we think, they may have duped many more people as they have been found to be running this illicit operation for a long time.”
Preliminary investigation has revealed that Peter Herman, a Nigerian national who police suspect is currently residing in India, is the mastermind behind the lottery scam. Herman had also masterminded the theft of more than Rs48.5 million by hacking into the accounts of the Agriculture Development Bank in Lahan, Siraha, and Panas Remittance in Baneshwor, Kathmandu.
“Even now, more than 40 people are suspected of working as agents of Herman. However, we have arrested only 15 so far. Further investigation into the case is underway,” said Karki. “The forged amounts were found illegally transferred to India by the Nepali agents after retaining their cuts ranging between 15 to 20 per cent, each time.”
According to police, the Nepali agents had used 17 bank accounts, including accounts in Bank of Kathmandu, Prabhu Bank, Mega Bank, Himalayan Bank, Sunrise Bank and the Citizens Bank for illegal monetary transactions.
“It is suspected that the illegally transacted amount, which was Rs14,67,91,000 could have been stolen by hacking some bank accounts. However, it is yet to be confirmed as we have not received any complaints from the banks,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Thapa, chief at Metropolitian Crime Division.