Indian police are holding an American woman they say has confessed to staging her kidnapping to extort a ransom from her parents after running out of money and overstaying her visa.
Police said Chloe Mclaughlin, 27, hatched the plan with her Nigerian boyfriend Okoroafor Chibuike Okoro, 31, after she arrived in capital New Delhi in May.
Amrutha Guguloth, New Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police, said Ms Mclaughlin confessed to conspiring with Mr Okoro to extort money from her parents
Ms Mclaughlin called her mother on July 7 and said she was in an “unsafe environment” and was being assaulted and beaten by a known person, without revealing her location, police said.
Her father, an ex-army officer from Washington DC, and mother approached Indian authorities and the US Embassy in New Delhi, who sought help from city police.
Ms Mclaughlin contacted her mother again on July 10 via a WhatsApp video call, but a man entered the room and cut the call short before her mother could get more information, police said.
The police investigation found that Ms Mclaughlin had used her Mr Okoro’s internet connection to make the calls. Police tracked down Mr Okoro, who was living in Gurgaon, outside Delhi, who told them Ms Mclaughlin was staying in Greater Noida, about 35 kilometres from the capital.
Ms Gugloth said Ms Mclaughlin befriended Mr Okoro on Facebook and had come to India to meet him.
Police found that her visa had expired on June 6 and that Mr Okoro’s passport had also expired.
“They both will be deported,” Ms Gugloth told The National.