4 call centres raided: Employees posed as US treasury officials | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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4 call centres raided: Employees posed as US treasury officials

Employees at the four call centres on Mira Road, which were raided by the Thane police crime branch on Saturday in connection with the investigation into the multi-million dollar call centre scam, would masquerade as officials from the United States Department of the Treasury to coerce their potential victims to make a payment.

mumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2016 00:40 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Call centres

Employees at the four call centres on Mira Road, which were raided by the Thane police crime branch on Saturday in connection with the investigation into the multi-million dollar call centre scam, would masquerade as officials from the United States Department of the Treasury to coerce their potential victims to make a payment.

Unlike the employees at the call centres at Delta building on Mira Road(raided on Tuesday) who would masquerade as IRS officials, the employees at the freshly-raided call centres posed as officials from the United States Department of the Treasury. “The scripts used by the callers here is almost similar to those used at the earlier call centres. The only difference in this case is the US treasury department and not IRS was used as the cover,” said sources, adding, “the similarities made us suspect that all these call centres were franchises of a parent body.”

Earlier on Tuesday, seven such call centres had been raided and over 700 people were rounded up after the police were tipped off about the extortion syndicate operating there under the garb of BPOs. The employees at these call centres targetted US citizen by masquerading as officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US Federal government. Of those, 72 have been arrested while the rest were released conditionally against notices under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to explain why action should not be initiated against them for the crime.

Meanwhile, an officer privy to the investigation told HT that at least 150 employees and officials (including floor managers) at these four call centres have been identified. “These four call centres closed down immediately after Tuesday’s crackdown. In fact, hard discs of several computers at these call centres were found removed when we conducted searches on Saturday night. However, from the recovered documents and the seating arrangements (at computer terminals) we suspect a total of over 150 people worked there,” said the official, adding, “they have been identified and would be put under arrest soon.”

The lead about the (existence of) four call centres had been obtained from the interrogation of the accused arrested earlier. However, the promoters of these call centres are yet to be identified. “We will know their identities once we arrest the employees and question them,” said the official.

Sources in the Thane crime branch said the four call centres are suspected to have made tens of crores of rupees from the victims in the past one year. “From what we have gathered from the initial probe, the four call centres together extorted anything between Rs50-100 crores in the past one year,” sources said.

Meanwhile, sources said that teams of crime branch officials are now camping in Ahmedabad, where one of the key players of the racket, identified as Shaggy alias Sagar Thakkar is holed up. He is one of the five important operators of the syndicate who went underground soon after Tuesday’s raid, sources said.

Call centre scam After Saturday’s raid on 4 more call centres, source say call centres may be franchises of a parent body