Five absconders hold the key to money trail in Thane call centre scam
On Wednesday, the police filed a case against more than 750 employees of nine call centers for allegedly blackmailing US citizens by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officialsmumbai Updated: Oct 07, 2016 01:34 IST
Five promoters of bogus call centres at Mira Road, who are absconding, hold the key to establishing the money trail in the multi-million-dollar scam that the Thane police are investigating.
On Wednesday, the police filed a case against more than 750 employees of nine call centers for allegedly blackmailing US citizens by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials.
A top official in the Thane police crime branch said that the promoters were known to the employees only by their by their aliases (the police have a full name for only one of them) and only occasionally visited their offices at Delta building, off the Western Express Highway. “They have been identified as Ali, Gimmy, Akhil Singh, Tapesh and Saggy. Their names came up during the preliminary interrogation of the arrested accused, most of whom are employees of their call centres,” said the officer, who did not wish to be named.
Akhil Singh managed to flee with his family minutes before the police raided his flat at Mira Road on Wednesday morning. The police are using the call records of senior employees of the call centres to trace him and the other four absconders.
They police have so far arrested 72 employees of the call centres and served notices to about more than 700 others. Eight of the 72 arrested were senior employees, designated as ‘managing directors’, but the police said they did not direct the scam. “They were contract employees who were hired on a salary. They don’t have any clue about the money channels from the US,” the official added.
He added, “All the employees, including the managing directors, were paid in cash. Keeping in mind that there were over 700 employees in the BPOs, the sums involved were huge (estimated to be Rs1.5 crore to Rs2 crore a day). It was all black money routed through hawala.”
The official said that though the police had a fair idea about the identity of the mastermind, they would not disclose it until the five promoters were apprehended. “We are in no hurry. We will first arrest the five absconding accused and hand over evidence gathered from their interrogation to the authorities in the US to shut off his [the mastermind’s] escape route,” he added.