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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Three arrested for duping actress Isha Sharvani of Rs 3 lakh

DCP Roy added that Sharvani told them that the suspects made her transfer the money in two online transactions. The suspects stayed on call with her until the transactions were completed, the officer said.

delhi Updated: Sep 20, 2019 07:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell) Anyesh Roy said they received a complaint from Isha Sharvani on September 17.
Deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell) Anyesh Roy said they received a complaint from Isha Sharvani on September 17.(HT FILE)
         

The Delhi police’s cyber crime unit on Thursday said they have arrested three men for duping actress Isha Sharvani. The actress who currently lives in Perth, Australia was allegedly duped of nearly Rs 3 lakh.

The police said the suspects, had called her and pretended to be from the Australian Tax Office. They had threatened to arrest the actress for evading tax and made her transfer around 5,700 Australian dollars (AUD) via online money transfer services, the police said.

The suspects were identified as Bhanuj Berry, 24, Punnet Chadha, 34, and Rishabh Khanna, 23. The police said the three ran a syndicate from a fake call centre being operated from west Delhi’s Vikasupuri and have duped over 100 persons in Australia.

Deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell) Anyesh Roy said they received a complaint from Isha Sharvani on September 17. The actress had told the police that she had received calls from a Canberra phone number. The caller posed as an employee of the Australian Tax Office and apprised her of violations in her tax returns. They told her the Australian government had issued a warrant for her immediate arrest, the DCP said.

“She said, the caller then asked for her tax accountant’s details including the phone number. Then the suspects called her from the accountant’s office’s phone number. Posing as employees from the accountant’s office, the suspects told Sharvani that they erroneously did not tell her about the intimations sent by the Australian government for her,” DCP Roy said. “She was told that the only way to settle the matter was through a confidential transaction to the remittance officer of the Indian branch of the Australian Tax Office’s, in Delhi. The suspects told her that the accountant’s office would reimburse the entire amount (5,700 AUD) as it was not her fault.”

DCP Roy added that Sharvani told them that the suspects made her transfer the money in two online transactions. The suspects stayed on call with her until the transactions were completed, the officer said.

However, later, when Sharvani realised that she had been duped, she complained to the police and a case was registered.

The police said that during the probe, the police obtained details of the recipient of the money from two online money transfer service firms. We were able to track down Bhanuj Berry, who had studied B. Com, is a registered agent with one of the firms.

“Initially, he tried to mislead us by showing us false documents but on detailed questioning, he disclosed his involvement in the scam along with the other suspects. Subsequently, Puneet Chadha and Rishabh Khanna were also apprehended while they were trying to flee out of Delhi,” Roy said.

The police said that Chadha is an MBA and Khanna is in his final year of Bachelor of Business Administration.

“On questioning, the suspects us that said they operate from a fake call centre. They specifically target people living in Australia and pretend to Australian tax officials. They make VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls and use number spoofing software to make the receiver believe that they are calling from Australia itself. They had also mastered Australian accents. They obtained information about their targets from their tax accountants. The suspects would tell their victims that they had committed tax violations and would present paying money to the suspects as the only way out,” Roy said.

The actress could not be reached for comment.

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 23:01 IST

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