Chennai: An NRI living in Canada was duped of Rs 1.3 crore by a Chennai based fraudster who posed as a widow on a matrimonial site and promised to marry him. The accused, who also robbed the victim of gadgets worth Rs 3.6 lakh when the latter visited the city in the hope of meeting his ‘to-be-wife’, has been arrested by the Royapettah police.
The victim Pachiyappan is a native of Erode district settled in Canada. While he is a father of two children, he decided to separate from his wife due to conflicts in their conjugal life and looked for alliances on a matrimonial site for remarriage.
He came across a profile named Rajeshwari, a widow, and contacted the phone number mentioned in the profile. One Senthil Prakash from Perambur spoke to him claiming that he posted the ad on behalf of his kin Rajeshwari.
After inquiring about Pachiyappan’s background, he reportedly shared the phone number and e-mail ID of Rajeshwari. Pachiyappan called the number and spoke to a woman, whom he believed to be Rajeshwari.
Later, another woman claiming to be Rajeshwari’s mother Rani and a man posing as her brother also spoke to Pachiyappan.
While Senthil Prakash shared a woman’s photo on WhatsApp to the victim claiming it was Rajeshwari, he came up with different excuses whenever Pachiyappan wanted to make a video call to his to-be-wife.
However, they made him transfer money on different occasions claiming that they have medical expenses, debts to settle in the guise of making investments and starting a new business. In total, Pachiyappan had transferred Rs 1.35 crore to different bank accounts of the accused.
In March this year, Pachiyappan flew to Chennai to ‘surprise’ Rajeshwari in person and stayed at a hotel on Radhakrishnan Salai. He had also brought expensive electronic gadgets including the latest model of iPhone, AirPods, iPad among others as gifts to Rajeshwari.
However, it was Senthil Prakash who turned up at the hotel instead of Rajeshwari and he allegedly threatened Pachiyappan not to visit the city again and robbed him of the valuables.
While the victim immediately returned to Canada out of fear, he later lodged a complaint with the Greater Chennai Police. The complaint was forwarded to the Royapettah police, who registered a case and detained, Senthil Prakash.
Inquiries revealed that Senthil Prakash created the fake profile in the name of Rajeshwari and spoke to Pachiyappan, the victim, posing as a woman.
Further investigation is underway regarding the incident.