Teenage girls in Chechnya reportedly conned Isis recruits out of thousands of pounds in a fake brides scam

A Chechen woman
A Chechen woman

Police in Russia have reportedly detained a group of women who defrauded Isis recruits by posing as would-be brides and persuading them to send thousands of pounds worth of "travel money".

Russian website Life News, which has published an interview with one of the three women involved, explains that the group, from the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, were first approached by jihadists over social media a few months ago.

The woman, known only as Maryam, told the website of the first recruiter:

He began to lure me, saying: 'Do you want to come to Syria, here it is very good.' I told him that I had no money. He told me he would send me 10 thousand rubles.

Screengrab: Life News

However, after receiving the money (approximately £110) for a one-way ticket, Maryam blocked the recruiter from contacting her online. Unsurprisingly, she never showed up in Syria.

After that success, the group then tricked several other recruiters into thinking they were willing to join fighters in the Middle East, eventually racking up a reported 200,000 rubles (£2,100).

However, the trio have now been detained in Russia after security services monitored their activity online.

"Isis recruiters never buy the ticket personally for their targets because they would be easily spotted," Valery Zolotaryov from the Centre for Combating Extremism government agency told Russian newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets. "Instead they send money through e-wallets."

This is unprecedented in Chechnya, probably because no one digs deep enough in that direction.

In any case, I do not advise anyone to enter into correspondence with dangerous criminals, especially with the aim of easy money.

  • Valery Zolotaryov

Isis, which is well known for its recruitment of young men and women over social media, has as many as 1,700 fighters of Russian origin.

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