An African gang of four members involved in an online scam selling premium coffee was busted in Sharjah, police said on Saturday.
The gang also duped victims by claiming to double their money.
An Arab man lodged a police complaint after he was conned by an African man who offered to sell a large amount of premium coffee at a price far below the market rate. The victim met the suspect at a shopping centre and agreed to purchase the coffee.
The victim paid the suspect a sum of money and the rest was to be paid later after receiving the coffee consignment.
When the Arab man asked for a receipt with the name of the company, the suspect claimed his office was located in a neighbouring emirate and it was closed at that time. The Arab man then asked the suspect to return the money. He returned the envelop supposedly carrying the money but was shocked to find fake notes when he reached a bank to deposit the cash.
After receiving the complaint, the online crime unit was able to identify the suspects and their location. The police then raided their apartment in Sharjah and arrested the gang members.
The police found a large amount of fake currency and receipts of a fake company. The case has been referred to Sharjah Public Prosecution.
Colonel Ebrahim Al Ajel, Director of Criminal and Investigation Department, urged people to be wary of online advertisements and to use proper channels to pay for transactions.