Friday, February 25, 2022

Mother of MP student stranded in Ukraine defrauded on pretext of return ticket

Even as families of Indian nationals, especially students, are worried stiff about their safety amidst Russian invasion on Ukraine, the mother of such a student in Vidisha of Madhya Pradesh was defrauded of Rs 42,000 on the pretext of getting a return ticket for her daughter and her friend.

City superintendent of police of Vidisha Vikash Pandey told THE WEEK that a complaint has been received and a case under Section 420 (cheating) has been registered. The officer added that a probe was on in the matter.

The CSP said Vaishali Wilson, a lab technician with the blood bank of Vidisha district hospital, lodged a complaint with the Kotwali police station saying that a man identifying himself as ‘Prince’ and claiming to be from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) called her up on Wednesday and said that he could help in getting a return ticket for Srishti Wilson, Vaishali’s daughter, who is a fifth year student of MBBS in Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

The man convinced Vaishali to deposit Rs 42,000 in his bank account for tickets of Vaishali and one of her Indian friends stranded in Kiev. He repeatedly promised to send the ticket by Wednesday evening, then night and then by Thursday afternoon. However, the two phone numbers he was using were switched off on Thursday and the tickets were not sent.

Vaishali then got in touch with Priyank Kanungo, chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR), who also hails from Vidisha. Kanungo enquired and found that no person in that name worked with the PMO. Later, Vaishali filed a police complaint.

Incidentally, a video of Vaishali, crying out of worry for her daughter and the adverse response from MP CM Helpline suggesting her to take up the issue of return of her daughter with Ukraine police, had gone viral over social media on Wednesday, before the fraudster struck.

When THE WEEK called up the numbers used by the alleged fraudsters, one of them (09289336757) was reported switched off, while another (07060310745) reported ‘number does not exist.

24/02/22 Sravani Sarkar/The Week

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