Two women have filed a complaint against a British Facebook user stating that he had swindled around Rs 5.10 million. The British national, they accuse, had promised them a gift worth £40,000.
Pabi Chhetri of Uda-5 of Parbat, now studying Bachelor’s Degree in a college based in Kathmandu, had befriended a man from Britain on Facebook. Pabi and the man, who introduced himself as Brian, started to chat on Facebook. He also said Pabi that he was from a well-to-do family and assured her of providing £40,000.
Brian, after some days, sent photo of a courier and its number via messenger claiming that sending such a large sum of money would be problematic via banking transaction.
After a week of receiving such message, Pabi received a call from India and told that her parcel has reached India. The man on phone only said that she needs to pay money for custom charges. Pabi then called back at the number and asked the details of sending money for customs.
The man on phone said, “We’ve an agent Budhamaya Sangthung. You can give money to him. He will send us money.”
Pabi handed over Rs 45,000 via IME to Budhamaya Sangthung so as to receive more than Rs 5.70 million.
A week later, Pabi again received a call stating that the amount was insufficient for paying custom charges. Her family, on her request for going to Australia, sent Rs 2.6 million via Hawala to India.
Pabi was again asked to send additional money for paying customs.
Pabi’s best friend Laxmi Devi Chapain, who was also from the same village, also asked additional Rs 2.4 million from her home so that they can share the amount after receiving the parcel from the British national.
But the parcel did not arrive even after two weeks of sending Rs 5.10 million to India.
By then, Brian had deactivated the Facebook account and the phone used for calling from India was also switched off.
“These women visit here in the police office regularly to know about the progress in the case,” Spokesperson at Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range DSP Mohan Thapa told Setopati, “Those who received the amount are absconding. But we have arrested those who sent the money via Hawala. We are investigating the case.”
According to DSP Thapa, Pabi and Laxmi had sent Rs 4.60 on four installments through Hawala and the remaining amount via IME.
Police have arrested Jayaram Karki and Krishna Gopal Agrawal who sent the amount via Hawala.
“Investigation has shown that Pabi and Laxmi had sent the amount to Narayan Agrawal and Rakesh Kumar Gupta in India. Agrawal is now in USA and we are investigating it further,” DSP Thapa said.
Police have long had information that the arrested due was involved in Hawala trade.
“But we did not have any evidence. Arresting those involved in cheating and swindling money was easier once their name was revealed by the two women,” DSP Thapa said.
Police have also confiscated Rs 1,562,920, with unrevealed income source, from the two people arrested.