Akhilesh Singh, one of the alleged key accused in the multi-crore telephone scam busted by the Thane police last month, was arrested on Thursday and remanded in police custody till November 8.
Singh was one of the five key accused in the scam. HT was the first to report that Singh drove away with his family on the night the police raided his flat in a Mira Road housing society.
A crime branch source claimed Singh’s hideout in another housing society in Mira Road was compromised by a police informer on Thursday.
Assistant commissioner of police (crime) M. Hatote told the court that three months ago, Singh had struck a deal with two ‘partners’ in the Hari Om IT Park to start a call centre and invested a few lakhs in setting one up.
“He was promised high returns from the venture by Haider Mansoori and Arjun Vasudevan (both in custody) who worked as floor managers in another call centre in the same building,” Hatote said.
Police have learnt Rs25,000 had been remitted to his account twice by other partners as “incentive” as his call centre was still to become operative. A source in the crime branch claimed Sagar had helped Singh set up the call centre.
Before he got into the call centre business, Singh, a graduate, was a second-hand car dealer. His father, Ajay, who runs a sweetmeat shop in Mumbai, said Haider lived in the same neighbourhood and had approached his son to invest in call centres.
“Haider and my son are friends. A few months ago, he trapped my son with the lure of easy money,” Ajay told HT.
He said the family arranged Rs 20 lakh by withdrawing from fixed deposits that had been kept for his daughter’s impending wedding in February next year.
“We also borrowed money from friends and relatives at high interest, as we were assured of early returns,” he said, adding, “we are devastated by the arrest. I don’t know how to arrange money for my daughter’s wedding.”