By Sunil K. Vaidya
Muscat: The Royal Oman Police  (ROP) arrested two foreign nationals on charges of defrauding residents in Oman, according to a press release issued on Thursday.
“The two accused had come to Oman on visit visas  and swindled a large number of people with different modus operandi,” a spokesman for the ROP’s public relations department said.
“They would coax gullible residents by presenting schemes to multiply investment rapidly,” the spokesman said, adding that after several complaints the officers from the Department of Combating Economical and Financial Crime set a trap to catch the alleged swindlers.
“The two suspects are part of an international ring that operates in different countries,” he said.
The suspects, one an African national and another European, had entered Oman on visit visas a few days ago and were staying at a hotel, according to the police.
“The suspects’ attempt to sell a box of sand as gold to an Omani national nailed them,” the spokesman said.
He added that the victim paid 5,000 Omani riyals for the promised âgold’.
“We would urge residents not to fall for unbelievable schemes to multiply their hard-earned money,” he said.
In another case of theft, officers at the Birka Police Station, about 100km north of Muscat, arrested two suspects for allegedly breaking into an expatriate’s apartment and escaping with 1,000 riyals cash as well as some jewellery.
Meanwhile, police foiled an attempt by a citizen to smuggle firecrackers into the country through the Al Wajaja border.
“We have arrested a citizen, who was accompanied by two other people, on the charges of smuggling firecrackers,” the ROP spokesman said.
He said that the driver of the truck denied any knowledge of firecrackers hidden beneath the cargo in the truck. However, his companion confessed that he was aware of the firecrackers hidden behind the cargo listed in the invoice.
The ROP spokesman reminded residents that firecrackers were banned in Oman.