New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI) Three Nigerian nationals have been arrested for allegedly honey trapping and duping a Jodhpur man of Rs 55 lakh on the pretext of providing a powder which they claimed would turn black-coated papers into bank notes, police said today.

The man, a resident of Jodhpur, had complained on March 24 that he was duped by two Nigerian nationals who had promised to provide him mercury powder to treat “Black dollars” at a mall in Mayur Vihar, DCP (East) Omvir Singh said.

The “black dollars” fraud involves cheating people by convincing them that black-coated papers can be turned into bank notes by treating them with certain chemicals.

The man came in contact by one sergeant Lena Angel for friendship on Facebook who was purportedly working in US Navy and posted in Syria, the officer said.

The complainant paid Rs 50 lakh to Angel and her accomplices through various modes to purchase a chemical solution to treat “Black dollars”, the officer said, adding he also paid lakhs of rupees as “customs duty” for the gifts he send to Angel in Syria.

He made these transactions during a period of one-and-a-half-month.

The accused had called the man at the mall to give the mercury powder to turn “Black dollar” into notes by keeping them in refrigerator for 72 hours, said the officer.

They took Rs 2 lakh from him and escaped, the officer said, adding after which the man approached police.

Electronic surveillance was mounted and probable locations of the suspects were identified. Several raids were conducted in which the three foreigners arrested. They included head of the gang – Ifeanyi Lemchi (37), Chika Ejimonu (35), and Onyedikachi (38), Singh said.

As many as 35 mobile phones, 25 SIM cards, five dongles, one laptop with several incriminating documents, Rs 1,90,000 cash, LED TVs, two Khukris, were recovered from their residence in Chhatarpur, he said.

Investigation also revealed that the gang had 42 bank accounts on Indian names. Fourteen of the accounts analysed so far disclosed that transactions of over Rs 1.5 crore were made in January this year itself, Singh said.

“All of this money was transferred in small sums to Nigeria. None of the suspects have a valid passport and are all illegally staying in India,” he said.

Further investigation is on to identify other members of the gang, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.