Surat: Cybercriminal detectives arrested a 32-year-old Nigerian national from Faridabad, Haryana on Tuesday for alleged involvement in an online kidney racket.
Defendant Gregory Yermadeh, a native of Benin City, Nigeria, is the mastermind behind the brawl in which people were lured by online advertisements to sell kidneys for Rs 4 crore.
Yermadeh had arrived in India on a visitor visa and had been running the racket for the past three years. He stayed in Bengaluru but was on the run for a month after his staff were arrested in July.
The police had previously arrested Toty Dago Gregoire Kouduo Toti Augustin (33) from the Ivory Coast and Tikendrajeet Dhirnchandra Bora (30) from Bengaluru. Toty developed websites that resembled the country’s leading hospitals and posted ads looking for kidney sellers.
“In this brawl, the police arrested top operators first. They deceived poor people who were willing to sell their organs for money, ”said YA Gohil, the cybercrime cell’s deputy police commissioner.
Police alleged that a total of Rs nine lakh had been blocked in various bank accounts held by the defendants.
The complaint was filed on July 13 by Arbaz Rana, a 25-year-old used car dealer who was defrauded between September and October 2020. Rana told police that there had been no business for the past three years and that he wanted to marry his sister. Due to the financial crisis, he decided to sell his kidney and make money quickly.
The investigation found that the defendant was offering Rs 4 crore to Rs 7 crore for a kidney on fake websites from top hospitals such as Manipal Hospital, Apollo, Max Super Specialty, Lilavati, Tata Memorial, Garden City, Fortis, and others. They also created fake websites for currency trading and bitcoin investing.
Police found that Tory had created fake websites offering jobs in the airline, agriculture, oil and gas, construction, dairy and courier sectors in the UK, Canada and the US. He created fake websites to exchange old currencies and also created separate websites offering visas for different countries.
They used four email IDs that are similar to RBI officers’ IDs.
Trusting one of these websites, Rana contacted a WhatsApp number in September 2020 that was mentioned in one of them. The woman on the other end posed as Dr. Shilpa Kumari from Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru. The police claimed that the woman’s identity was forged. Rana was later contacted by various people by phone and email.
The defendant convinced Rana that he will receive two million rupees before the operation and that the balance will be paid afterwards. They requested payment of various fees prior to surgery and believed that Rana was paying money in multiple transactions using online payments. In a short period of time, Rana paid Rs 14.78 lakh. When they continued to demand money for the charges, Rana realized that he had been cheated.