Lucknow: A 70-year-old heart specialist has been cheated of nearly Rs 1.8 crore by a person whom he got matched with after placing an advertisement in the matrimonial classifieds of a leading English daily published in Lucknow. 

The Times of India reports that after placing the advertisement, the doctor got a response from a Florida-based Krishna Sharma claiming to be a marine engineer. Krishna told the doctor that she was shifting to India, and was shipping South African gold worth 70,000 US dollars to an agency in Lucknow to avoid any hassles.

The doctor had made a transaction of nearly Rs 1.8 crore to Krishna on account of excise, shipping, air ticket and other duties to ‘help her settle in India’. After realizing the cheating, he filed a police complaint against Krishna. The officials with the cyber cell are investigating the case, with many suspecting a gang from Nigeria to be behind this. 

The Superintendent of Police, UP Cyber Cell, Triveni Singh said that they had begun an investigation into the incident. The SP said that the incident began in January 2022, when the heart specialist gave an advertisement for remarriage after his spouse had passed away in 2019. 

According to the complaint, the doctor got in touch with Krishna Sharma on March 2, 2022, who introduced herself as a marine engineer in Florida, USA. Eventually, their friendship grew as they started to talk and chat. The woman during this period expressed her desire to shift to India to look after her parents in Gujarat. She said she wanted to transport gold from South Africa ‘which was under the threat of being stolen by pirates of Somalia’ and had to be transferred to a security company in Lucknow. 

Singh told TOI, “Swayed by the woman, the doctor immediately gave his nod. Thereafter, he got calls from the customs and security company for clearing dues of the gold consignment which had arrived at the airport.” The doctor has cheated of Rs 1.8 crore within a period of 15 days in the name of custom fees, insurance fees, and many other fees. However, the doctor got apprehensive and called the woman when he did not receive the consignment after 10 days of the transaction. 

The SP added, “He found her number to be switched off and also that of the security company sleuths who had called him for the money.” The SP said that this case is similar to many other cases where fraudsters dupe people claiming to be from a different nation. He added that they are on matrimony websites and are keeping a tab on papers with advertisements for remarriages. 

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