Two persons have been booked for allegedly duping a woman from Bhayandar township in the district to the tune of Rs 82.50 lakh, police said today.
The accused have been identified as Betty Jones and Kusum Chowdhari, a woman, police said.
As per the complaint lodged by the victim, she had returned to India after staying in Sharjah for 11 years. Jones, one of the accused, had befriended her on a social media platform prior to her return.
"When the victim came back to India late last year, Jones informed her about a lucrative oil supply business. He told her that she could purchase oil from an Uttarakhand-based company, owned by Chowdhari, and export the consignment to the UK at a much higher price," police said The victim initially placed an order for two litres of oil with the company in Uttarakhand.
She made a payment and the goods was delivered at her place, her complaint said.
"Later, based on Jones' 'recommendation', a representative of another company placed a bulk order of oil with the victim, who in turn requested the Uttarakhand company to send her the goods and made a payment of Rs 82.50 lakh in different bank accounts between November and December 2017," police said.
However, after making the payment, when the woman tried to contact Jones and Chowdhari, they were 'not reachable', they said.
When the victim approached her bank, she was told by the officials there that her account has been frozen as she had transferred the money to the accounts that were under scanner for certain fraudulent transactions, police said.
Realising that she had been duped, the woman lodged a complaint with Thane police, which booked the duo yesterday.
"No arrest has been made in this connection so far and investigation into the case is on," police said.