A Thane resident working in the Thailand Consulate has filed a complaint claiming some people that he befriended on the internet cheated him of Rs 2.53 crore on the pretext of transferring USD 18 lakh to him, the police said on Friday.
The man, along with his wife and two children, had visited Thailand in August 2017, the police said.
"On his return, he was befriended on Facebook by one Mariam Khurshid. She told the complainant that her late Army officer husband had left USD 18 lakh for her. Since she was having trouble with her brother-in-law who wanted to now marry her, the woman said she wanted to transfer the amount to the complainant and shift to India," an official from Khadakpada police station in Kalyan said.
The man was later told that the money had arrived at Delhi Airport and he would have to pay several lakh rupees in "customs duty", the police said.
"Later, he was told by a person who brought the currency box to his residence that the notes had got soiled and it would cost Rs 30 lakh per kilo to clean them," the official said.
In November last year, another man came to his residence to "clean" the notes and he too swindled Rs 41 lakh from the complainant, the official added.
"He later found that all the people he had come in contact with in this matter through Mariam Khurshid were unreachable on phone as well as on social media sites after he had completed transferring large sums of money to them. He has claimed that the total amount he lost in the process was Rs 2.53 crore," the official said.
Realising he had been duped, the man filed a complaint on Thursday, the official said, adding that Khadakpada police had registered a case of cheating and forgery.
"The names provided to us by the complainant are Mariam Khurshid, George Kara, Johnson Scoton, Kon, Islam, Khalu and David Marks. We are verifying the incident and have not made any arrest so far," the police official said.