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THE THANE police have claimed that its investigation into the bogus call centre scam is complete, now that it has figured out how the money conned from US citizens in the form of iTunes cards was transferred to India. The police said according to their probe, a network of nearly 13 bank accounts in China, along with bank accounts of Indian traders, was used to get the money back to the main accused in India.
A senior officer probing the case said: “The only aspect of the scam that was unclear was how the accused would transfer the money earned in the form of iTunes gift cards to India. After going through the laptop of Ashish Choudhary – the accused arrested last month – we got a wealth of details about their system.”
The officer added: “The accused had met 13 Chinese nationals online, who were willing to purchase the iTunes cards for cash. The accused then used the accounts of some Indian traders with interests in China to transfer this money to India. At every stage, there were commissions given to those facilitating the scam. Based on the details from Choudhary’s laptop, the accused operating from the Mira Road-Bhayandar belt made Rs 20 crore from the scam.”
The police is now set to file a chargesheet in the case. Some accused, such as Reema, sister of alleged mastermind Sagar Thakkar, are yet to be arrested. “We are working to get the wanted accused. They should be arrested soon,” the officer said. Between 2012 and 2015, at least 500 employees in nine offices in the Mira-Bhayandar area and in Ahmedabad reportedly made calls to hundreds f US citizens posing as IRS officials. The victims were asked to “settle their outstanding tax disputes” or face arrest.
The accused are suspected to have duped US nationals of an estimated 300 million dollars. So far, 70 people have been arrested and over 400 chargesheeted in the case.