Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested 13 persons, including 12 Nigerian nationals, yesterday from Dhaka's Pallabi area on charge of duping people out of crores of taka.
The arrestees used to impersonate customs officials while talking to the victims, said Sheikh Md Rezaul Haider, additional deputy inspector general of CID.
At a press briefing at CID headquarters today, the official said they carried out the raid based on a complaint from a victim who lost Tk 3.73 lakh to the gang's scam.
The arrestees are Nandika Cenent Chakengu, 32, Cletus Achuna, 31, Onyekulve Timety Chinonge, 30, Ekene Wisdom, 30, Chigozie, 30, Evunde Gabril Obinna, 30, Clestine Patrick Obiajulu, 30, Mordi Namdi Collnis, 30, Ordu Chukwudr Sammy, 30, Ndubukwn Somayina, 30, Nzerem Precious Ekeme, 30, and Nwoke Wisdom Chikwado, 30.
CID also arrested Rahat Ara Khanam alias Farzana Mohiuddin, 27, a Bangladeshi national, who played the part of a customs officer as part of the ruse, said Rezaul.
About the process of the scam, CID officials said a Facebook user named Katherine Cullen Sophia first connected with the victim and befriended him through chats over a period of month.
The "foreigner" at one stage offered to send the victim costly gift from abroad and lured him, saying the package would contain million dollar worth of items and asked him to receive the parcel from the customs office at Chattogram Airport, they said.
Then, the Bangladeshi member of the group, Rahat Ara Khanam alias Farzana, called the victim and asked him to deposit Tk 4.5 lakh in several bank accounts for customs clearance of the so-called parcel. Otherwise, legal steps would be taken, she threatened.
The victim then deposited Tk3.73 lakh to bank accounts specified by the gang. As the gang then discontinued communication, the victim realised that he was cheated and made the complaint, said the CID official.
The gang made at least Tk 5 crore in last two months through scams, the CID official said.
Despite law enforcement agencies repeatedly busting such gangs, the country continues to witness similar cybercrimes where many foreigners are involved.
CID officials requested people to inform law enforcers if they receive such stranger offers online.