Police arrest five, including two foreigners, in an online parcel scamThe Police have advised the public to be careful when befriending strangers online.
The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police on Thursday arrested five persons, including two foreigners, in an alleged online parcel scam.
“The scammers contacted the victims through online mediums like Facebook, IMO, Viber and Whatsapp and pretended to be in love with them. They then pretended to have sent parcels containing luxurious gifts and in order to receive the parcels the victims were told to deposit a certain amount of money in banks,” Yuvaraj Khatiwada, an investigation officer at the bureau, told the Post. “The victims were told that the deposit amount was for the purpose of the parcel clearance at the airport. This way they had been swindling their victims.”
Acting on a complaint filed by Madhav Basnet, a special team from the bureau arrested the accused from various places of Kathmandu.
“Basnet had filed a complaint at the bureau after he did not receive the promised parcel even after depositing around Rs700,000,” said Superintendent of Police Bel Bahadur Pandey, spokesperson for the bureau.
The foreigner arrestees have been identified as Cyril Chinonso Ibeh, 40, holding passport number A 09039072 of Nigeria and Assape Adji Pierrejean, 23, holding passport number 17AP41871 of Ivory Coast.
The Nepali arrestees were identified as Ram Chandra Gaire, 40, of Gunjanagar-6, Chitwan, currently staying at Khushibu, Umesh Shrestha, 49, of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-26, and Hari Ojha, 31, of Kalikanagar Municipality-7, Chitwan.
“There is no exact information on how many people got cheated by the scammers. We are further investigating the case to figure out things in detail,” said Khatiwada.
To avoid falling prey to these scams, police have advised the public to be careful when befriending strangers online.
They should also be wary when asked to send money to people they do not know. “If anyone receives a phone call with the caller demanding payment in a bank account for any sort of delivery, they should remain calm and stop communicating with the caller immediately, as it is likely to be a scam,” said Pandey.
According to data maintained by the Nepal Police Headquarters, the number of fraud cases has seen a steady rise in the past three fiscal years.
Police recorded 368 cases related to fraud across the country in the fiscal year 2016/17. The number of cases rose to 542 in the fiscal year 2017/18. In the fiscal year 2018/19, the police registered 627 cases related to fraud, the data showed.