Local conduit of gang selling fake herbal products held

A man, who is allegedly the local conduit of a gang of Nigerians and an Indian woman who sold fake herbal products through internet, was arrested in the capital, police said today.

Last Updated: May 13, 2010, 20:03 PM IST

New Delhi: A man, who is allegedly the local
conduit of a gang of Nigerians and an Indian woman who sold
fake herbal products through internet, was arrested in the
capital, police said today.

Rajender Kumar Chauhan (42), who allegedly used to
operate the bank accounts of the gang members, was apprehended
two days ago from his hideout in Begumpur in south Delhi,
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal said.

With this, police have arrested six persons in the case.

Earlier 28-year-old Nikita, an alleged member of Indian
Mujahideen and accomplice of Aftab Ansari convicted in the
American Centre attack case, was arrested along with four
Africans on February 18. The arrested were identified as
Richard Eugenes, (36), Tommy Ojeaga (38), Aaron (34), all
hailing from Nigeria, and Lucien (35) from Ivory Coast.

Three fake Silphium Terebinthinateum (ST) herbal seeds,
few fake business cards of various leading drug companies,
three laptops, several international SIM cards and four
passports were allegedly recovered from them.

The `drug` which they sold as ST was found to be a soup
material namely `Okbono` used by Africans for mixing up in
vegetables to make it grease and is available in Delhi for Rs
100 per packet.

The arrests came following investigations into a
complaint filed by Ahmedabad-based businessman Hemchandra
Barot that he was cheated by some people of Rs 4.5 lakh by
luring him into the business of selling herbal products.

Nikita was arrested by Delhi Police in 2001 and was
released in 2008 after spending about six-and-half years in
jail. Kolkata High Court has upheld the death sentence to her
accomplice Ansari early this month.

"The gang opened as many as 40 bank accounts in various
banks such as Standard Chartered, Citi Bank,ICICI, ABN Amro,
RBS,ING Vaishya ,SBI, BOB, PNB and HDFC. These bank accounts
were used by the Nigerians to dupe innocent persons and for
transaction of cheated money," Dhaliwal said.

"Chauhan had allegedly opened these accounts," he said.

Nitika came in contact with the African nationals and
started living with them after her release from jail as they
happened to meet her in the court. For the past 18 months, she
was putting up with them and indulged in cheating by using
fictitious names.

On the events leading to the arrests, Dhaliwal said, "the
complainant told us that he received a floating in which the
sender introduced himself as an international agent of a
leading UK-based pharma company and offered him trading of
herbal product.

"The sender offered him 40 per cent commission to supply
the products to various South Asian Companies dealing in life
science drugs and also forwarded him addresses and phone
numbers of such buyers in India," he said.

PTI