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Two held for phishing fraud

Calcutta police on Friday arrested two Nigerians from Mumbai who, they claim, had come to India to play for a football club but started running a phishing racket after their visas expired five years ago.

Okwara Chinedu Ferdinarnd, alias Mike, and Chinweoke Kingsley Egbulefu, alias King, were picked up from Navi Mumbai and will be brought to Calcutta next week on transit remand.

“Their visas expired in 2007. Since then, they had been involved in the racket,” said a senior officer. “We have learnt that they had come to play club football in Mumbai. We are yet to ascertain the names of the clubs,” he added.

It was a complaint lodged by a Calcutta resident in May that led the cops to the Nigerian duo. Debasish Dutta, who has recently expired, had alleged that Rs 3.94 lakh had been withdrawn from his bank account illegally.

“We found that the money had been transferred to five bank accounts, from where the cash was withdrawn through ATMs,” the officer said.

Five persons — Santosh Banerjee, Bipin Kumar Singh, Vikas Sau, Dilip Kumar Tanti and Arun Kumar Misra — to whose accounts the money was transferred, were arrested in June. After interrogating the five, however, the cops found out that they were just agents who worked for someone else.

“The Nigerians used to pay the agents Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 to open bank accounts and hand over the ATM cards to them,” an officer said.

Primary investigation has indicated that the duo had sent a phishing email to Dutta, seeking his banking details, said the police. The email had a link that led to a website that was carefully designed to make it look like the actual site of a nationalised bank with which Dutta had his account.

Dutta was fooled into thinking that the bank had sought his banking password and had no idea that he had given it to the Nigerians, said an officer.

The cops have found out that the duo also used to run a parallel racket to gather personal details of people who could potentially be duped by sending phishing emails.

“They hired Indians at a cheap rate to gather personal details of their targets, such as date of birth, residential address, mother’s maiden name, which are needed to open a bank account. They also used agents to open bank accounts in fictitious names to transfer funds,” said the officer.

An officer said they suspected the duo had defrauded several other people.

nBody found: The body of Tapan Roy, a resident of Maheshtala, was found near Ruby hospital on the EM Bypass on Friday morning. The body bore injury marks, said cops.