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American woman in India fakes physical assault, abuse to blackmail parents, cops say

Cover photo courtesy: wikimedia.org

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) A 27-year-old woman from the US, who arrived in India as a tourist, staged a drama of being physically and emotionally abused by some unknown people to emotionally blackmail her parents back home, a Delhi Police official said on Sunday.

The victim-turned-accused was identified as Chloe Renee McLaughlin, who arrived in Delhi on May 3. The daughter of a former Army officer, she is a graduate and resides in Washington DC.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, Amrutha Guguloth said the US Embassy had approached them, stating that the woman was assaulted and beaten by an unidentified individual known to her and is missing after reporting the incident to her family in the US.

The woman, in an email, claimed that she is in an unsafe environment where she has encountered physical and emotional abuse.

“On July 10, the victim spoke to her mother Sandra McLaughlin via a video call on WhatsApp. The mother tried to gather some more information about her but an unknown individual entered the room and she could not disclose much,” the DCP said.

Based on the complaint, the Delhi Police registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code at the Chanakyapuri police station and began probing the matter.

“In order to ascertain the present whereabouts of the girl, assistance was sought from Yahoo.com for providing the IP address used by her for sending email to the American Citizens Services on July 9. Further, the Bureau of Immigration was requested to provide her immigration form to find her whereabouts,” he said.

As per the immigration form details, the woman had given her local address as Khasra No 44 & 45 in Greater Noida. However, when the police team reached the location, they found it was the address of Radisson Blu hotel. “Enquiries were made at the hotel and it was found that no such person had checked in at the hotel,” the official said.

Thereafter, technical assistance was taken from the Cyber Unit to find out the IP addresses used by her WhatsApp number. On analysis of the information, it was found that the victim used someone’s Wi-Fi connection.

Accordingly, the mobile number associated with the IP address and the alternate mobile number was obtained and details of this number were analysed. As a result, the police team succeeded in apprehending Nigerian national Okoroafor Chibuike Okoro alias Rechi, 31, from Gurugram, after it was found that as per the IP address, his mobile was used by the woman while making WhatsApp calls to her mother.

On sustained interrogation, he revealed the location of the missing woman and ultimately she was traced to a hotel in Greater Noida. After rescue and examination of the victim, it was revealed that she had staged the incident to emotionally blackmail her parents. It was also found that her visa had expired on June 6.

As per the investigation conducted so far, it is found that the victim had befriended Rechi through Facebook and after her arrival in India, she was staying with him.

“On further investigation, it was found that the passport of Rechi had also expired,” the DCP said, adding that legal action with respect to overstaying in India without a valid passport and valid visa is being taken against them.

He said that both McLaughlin and Rachi have a passion for singing, probably, which was the main reason for their friendship.

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