A 22-year-old man who had allegedly cheated several Kolkatans through social media by making false promises of getting them tickets for the India-South Africa match at the Eden Gardens on November 5 against money was arrested in Malda on Tuesday.
The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint lodged by Soumyajyoti Banerjee, a bank official from Bijoygarh, who paid Rs 94,000 to the accused who contacted him on Facebook and claimed to have World Cup match tickets.
The Telegraph had reported on November 1 and 2 the plight of Banerjee and several others who were trapped into paying money to fraudsters whom they met on Facebook, after which the case was initiated at the cyber police station of the Kolkata police.
Police said Ronie Ghosh, 22, a resident of Malda, was arrested from his home on Tuesday night.
Two mobile phones with which he had logged into his social media accounts and contacted the victim’s were seized from him, said an officer.
“We suspect there are several people whom this youth has framed. He is claiming that he had no intention to cheat anyone. He just wanted to keep a margin by reselling tickets,” said an officer.
Asked where he got tickets, Ghosh purportedly told the police he has a “friend” who is “well-connected” and was supplying the tickets to him.
The police are yet to ascertain how many people Ghosh actually sold tickets to.
Cops said they found at least three bank accounts outside West Bengal where Ghosh transferred the money.
“Possibly all three are mule accounts. We are in the process of blocking all transactions from the accounts to prevent any further loss to the complainants. We are also checking if more people are part of this racket,” said the officer.
The Telegraph reported about several social media users who had displayed photographs of tickets for the Eden Gardens match to lure people to purchase
the tickets that were otherwise neither available on bookmyshow.com nor at the offline counter.
Banerjee, who wanted to purchase 42 tickets for his friends, relatives and family, fell into Ghosh’s trap. Ghosh had claimed he had many tickets and asked Banerjee to transfer the money at a cost higher than the original price.
Once the money was transferred, Ghosh first became incommunicado and then started making false excuses for the delay in delivering the tickets.
Banerjee realised he had been defrauded and reported the matter to the police. He and his friends watched the match at home on the television on Sunday.
A Class XII student from Howrah was also similarly defrauded by Ghosh, the police said. The student had paid Rs 30,000 but allegedly did not get any tickets.