x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pair lure victims with machine that 'doubles cash'

Two Nigerians are accused of swindling thousands of US dollars, which they told victims that a machine in their possession could duplicate.

SHARJAH // Two Nigerian men have been arrested on suspicion of conning thousands of US dollars from people by claiming they had a machine that could duplicate banknotes.

The pair are accused of planning to collect cash from victims before fleeing the country, police said. Victims were told to hand over cash in US dollars.

When police raided a rented apartment in Sharjah they found a large quantity of coloured paper, which police said formed part of the swindle.

"The two were caught red-handed while trying to double money for one of their victims," said a Sharjah police spokesman.

"Apart from taking huge amounts of dollars from their victim, they asked him to pay extra money for the tools used to double the money."

"We have learnt that the two were using the apartment in Sharjah for their swindling activities and that they used to lure people and claim that they had the ability of doubling any quantity of money given to them," he said.

The men are being held in custody and their case will be referred to the public prosecution.

Police regularly arrest people who claim to be able to replicate banknotes, either using powders, chemicals or magic.

In November, police in Abu Dhabi arrested two men on suspicion of trying to sell chemicals they claimed could turn black paper into banknotes. These men claimed they could produce up to $14 million (Dh51.4m) in notes.

Last February, also in the capital, two men were conned out of Dh250,000 they believed could be doubled by "magical powder".

The victims later pleaded guilty to being involved in black magic.

ykakande@thenational.ae