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Thane call centre scam: Cops get info on missing accused

mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2016 00:02 IST
Arvind Walmiki
Arvind Walmiki
Hindustan Times
Thane call centre scam

A charge sheet was filed by the Thane police crime branch on Friday in the call centre scam busted in October after raids on nine call centres in Mira Road.(HT File Photo)

A day after an exhaustive 5,786-page charge sheet was filed and submitted to the Thane court, police officers of the Thane crime branch got crucial information, regarding the accused in the fake call centre scam who are missing.

A team of the branch will soon leave for Gujarat.

Police have obtained information on Rachit Joshi, Dhruven Shah and Tapesh Gupta. The three are on the run and are yet to be arrested.

“The accused have been contacting their families to find out what the situation is in Thane. It seems that they are running out of money. We will also detain friends of the accused and question them if it appears that they know where the accused are hiding,” said a source.

“We have started a manhunt to look for the accused. The team will go to Gujarat by Sunday, based on information we received about them. We told their families to alert us if the accused tries to contact them again. We have not yet been able to trace the location of the accused. Sources say they maybe in Dubai, or on an isolated island or in several different countries,” said a police officer from the Thane crime branch.

The police will also question the families of the accused to find out where they are.

“The charge sheet includes details of the investigation, which started on October 4 after the raid. Witnesses have helped us make the case stronger. We have also seized physical evidence from the call centre and the residences of the accused,” said another officer.

The charge sheet was filed by the Thane police crime branch on Friday in the call centre scam busted in October after raids on nine call centres in Mira Road.

It says the employees, masquerading as American revenue officials, made threatening calls to people in the US, forcing them to make payments. The charge sheet, however, is silent on money trail.

Deputy commissioner of police Parag Manere said 80 people have been named as accused in the charge sheet, which has been split into three parts — one for the case at Kashimira and two more for cases Naya Nagar police station. Three accused are common to all cases. The scam’s alleged kingpin, Sagar Thakkar, alias Shaggy, his sister Reema , business partners Tapesh and Jimmy are among the 28 who are wanted.

“The charge sheet has statements from 200 witnesses, including 10 who were under oath” assistant commissioner of police, crime, M Hatote told HT.

“This will bolster evidence in the case,” Manere said.

He added that the police also came across the numbers of some of the victims. “We sent them text messages, requesting them to register complaints,” he said. The police provided them an email address and links to fill complaint forms.

“So far, we have received 40 complaints from the US. This will be used as evidence,” Manere said. Seized cars and laptops, computers, hard discs, chairs and tables have all been clubbed as evidence.

The accused have been charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code for extortion, cheating, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy, apart from sections of the Indian Telegraph Act and IT Act.

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