New Delhi: A Nigerian national was arrested for allegedly duping dozens of people in a fraudulent scheme which involved the export of oil to Ghana used to manufacture “herbal vaccine” for racehorses, police said Thursday.

Gilbert Okoye Pedro (39) was nabbed by the Cyber Prevention, Awareness and Detection Centre (CyPAD), the Delhi Police’s cyber crime cell. He had been staying illegally in India and had duped a number of people, mainly from the southern states, they said.

The matter came to light after two people, who were duped of more than Rs 1.5 crore, approached the police, they said.

The accused along with his associates had made websites of two fake companies — Assam-based Mahavir Herbals Pvt Ltd and Ghana-based Animal Welfare Zoological Ltd said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) Anyesh Roy.

He used to contact people as a representative of the Ghana-based firm for a lucrative opportunity of export of Folinic B12 Oil’ from India to Ghana, which he claimed was required for producing vaccines for racehorses, the officer said.

He got in touch with the victims via LinkedIn, a professional networking site, the DCP said.

He used to meet the victims personally to gain their trust. He claimed that the oil was produced in India by Mahavir Herbal Pvt. Ltd and asked them to contact the Indian company and buy the oil from them for the Ghana-based company.

The victims also used to pay money to the accused as a commission.

The money was deposited by the victims in multiple bank accounts and then withdrawn from ATMs in Mumbai and Bengaluru, the DCP said.

The cash was used to buy different goods, particularly human hair, which has a huge market in Nigeria as they are used for hair extension and wig manufacturing. Human hair worth Rs 3,000 is sold for as much as USD 200 or around Rs 14,000 in Nigeria, police said.

The alleged scam has been running from the last ten years and it started from Macau, the officer said.