“Scam Alert: Pune Businessman Swindled of Rs 26.5 Lakhs by Cyber Fraudsters Peddling Fake Saudi Arabian Tender”

According to the FIR, the online scammers reached out to the complainant through WhatsApp and email in August 2023.

A businessman from Pune was tricked out of approximately Rs 26.5 lakhs by online scammers who offered him a fake contract for solar panels from the Saudi Arabian government. The victim, a 54-year-old residing on Sinhagad Road, lodged a complaint at the Sinhagad Road police station last Saturday.

According to the FIR, the fraudsters reached out to the complainant via WhatsApp and email around August of the previous year. The police mentioned that the complainant received a deceptive email from a cybercriminal posing as an “official agent” of the “Saudi Arabian Public Procurement Authority”.

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The email claimed that the Saudi government had released a tender for purchasing 20,000 solar panels and suggested that the complainant’s company could win the contract. However, the scammers asked for various online payments under the guise of registration fees, tender processing fees, advance payment, legalizations, stamp duty, and fund release orders.

The victim followed the instructions of the scammers and transferred a total of Rs 26,55,141 to different accounts through various online transactions, according to the police. However, despite his payments, he did not receive the promised solar panel tender. Upon realizing he had been deceived, he lodged a complaint at the cyber police station in the city. An FIR was filed, and the cyber police transferred the case to the Sinhagad Road police station for further investigation.

Senior Police Inspector Jayant Rajurkar, the investigating officer, stated that the complainant is a businessman. The fraudsters sent fake documents to the complainant while receiving money from him online, but his company never received any tender. “The entire fraudulent transaction occurred online. There was no face-to-face meeting between the complainant and the accused. The investigation is ongoing,” Rajurkar added.

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