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Investor held in connection with Thane call centre scam

Police said Jagdish Kanani, 33, owned one of the seven illegal call centres that ran out of the Hari Om IT Park in Mira Road

mumbai Updated: Oct 17, 2016 11:47 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
Thane call centre scam,Thane fake call centre,Call centre fraud
Delta IT Park in Mira Road, which house the call centres.(Pramod Thakur/HT)

Police have arrested an alleged investor in a call centre racket in India, which cheated US citizens of millions of dollars in a crime so elaborate that it left even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surprised.

Police said Jagdish Kanani, 33, owned one of the seven illegal call centres that ran out of the Hari Om IT Park, off Western Express Highway in Mira Road. The call centres were raided by the Thane crime branch a fortnight ago.

Thane police commissioner Paramveer Singh told HT that Kanani was arrested from his residence in Borivli after investigations established his involvement in the racket. He however, said the police were yet to come across evidence linking him to Sagar Thakkar who, police claimed, had anchored the multi-crore scam.

“They had a common interest in the illegal business. Like Sagar, Jagdish too was an investor (in a call centre). We will interrogate him thoroughly in order to find out his exact role ,” said Singh.

A senior crime branch officer said Jagdish grew up in Chennai, where his father is a businessman. He worked in a multinational Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) for some time before shifting to Ahmedabad to set up his own illegal call centre. “The BPO in Chennai catered to an American clientele. There, he learnt how to make reluctant customers pay their outstanding dues. He later graduated to data theft, before setting up his own call centre in Ahmedabad,” the officer added.

The police have still not traced Thakkar and his sister Reema — said to be key players in the scam — even after they rounded up hundreds in connection with the investigation. The have also failed to trace four of Thakkar’s close associates who disappeared soon after the raids.

First Published: Oct 17, 2016 11:43 IST