Police custody of the eight masterminds, who collectively operated the three bogus call centres in Mira Road, was extended till October 19 by a Thane court.
Moreover, investigation revealed that all the eight accused were part of a WhatsApp group in which they chatted with Sagar Thakkar akka Shaggy, the ringleader, daily. Shaggy is currently on the run.
The eight accused were identified as Wasim Quereshi,26, Dharmesh Soni,22, Nasir Gori,29, Nawoz Gupta,26, Govinda Thakur,28, Arjun Vasudev,24, Avinash Master,25, and Jhonson Dentist, 25.
A police source said, “The accused were in regular touch with Shaggy and floor manager Haider Mansoori, 23, who was paid a monthly salary of about Rs 2 lakh. Haider had met Shaggy and discussed the possibility of opening another call centre. But couldn’t contact Shaggy after 4 October, as his cellphone was switched off.”
Source added that during investigation, many of the accused told the police that they met Shaggy. “Most of them claimed they were shown a video and a PPT on the legality of the IRS while being interviewed for the job. The shortlisted candidates were then lured with a fat salary package.”