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4 African conmen walk into police trap
BY TAREQ ZEYAD September 21, 2013
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DUBAI: The Public Prosecution in Dubai in a case being heard by the Criminal Court accused four African nationals, including a woman, of cheating a GCC citizen by deluding him that he had won $250,000 from Coca-Cola.

The prosecution testified that the swindlers in an attempt to defraud their intended victim sent him an SMS informing him that he won a prize, and, therefore, asked him to transfer a sum of BHD 25,000 to be eligible to receive the award.

The victim testified that he had received an SMS from an international phone number informing him that he won quarter of a million US Dollars from Coca-Cola. The SMS asked him for his email address in order for the caller to be able to remain in future contact with him.

Later, another person contacted him, claiming that he was the sales manager of the Coca-Cola company. He also confirmed his winnings came through a random draw. This person asked the victim to transfer sums of money through bank remittances in order for the prize to be released, the victim further deposed.

He added that the money that was being asked from him was to pay for procurement of an “ownership certificate for the prize,” a “money laundering certificate from certain international banks,” and for “customs and transfer fees.”

He was also told that the money would be delivered to him by hand in the emirate of Dubai. Here, the man sensing that he was being exposed to a fraud attempt, alerted the Dubai Police, who set a trap for the swindlers and arrested them.

They arrived in Dubai to execute the final part of the fraud, the prosecution said, where they were nabbed red-handed in a hotel where the victim had booked a room and was waiting for them.

The victim, under police’s instructions, had lured them by pretending that he was ready to receive the prize and give them the demanded sum of money, which was now $20,000.

On questioning the suspects, they admitted they come to Dubai following a request from the victim, and that they had intended to cheat him and defraud him of his money.

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