THE THANE police investigating the bogus call centre scam operating out of the Mira Road-Bhayander belt has procured some ‘electronic devices’ from Ahmedabad that indicate the scope of the scam may be larger than originally suspected.
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The police have learnt that bogus call centres were operating from West Bengal, Noida, Rajasthan and Jharkhand apart from Ahmedabad and Thane. The police believe that impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers was just one of the tricks used by the accused persons to dupe foreign nationals.
“We raided several places in Ahmedabad, but the accused involved in running these call centres had fled their houses.” He added, “We made some seizures from several locations in Ahmedabad. Most of them are electronic devices using which the entire scam worked. We will soon be disclosing the contents of what we have retrieved from Ahmedabad,” said a security officer who did not wish to be named.
The Thane police is being assisted by some ‘insiders’ who at some point were associated with the call centres in Ahmedabad. The police have so far learnt that apart from IRS, there were other methods using which foreign nationals were duped.
“We expect bigger disclosures than the IRS scam. Within a few days we should be able to unearth similar rackets run with help from these call centres,” the senior officer confirmed.
“Most of the people involved are linked to each other. It is like a parallel industry,” another officer linked to the probe said. He added, “We suspect there is this one common place in India where people were sent for training for these call centres. It is too early to reveal anything more at this stage.”
The police are currently interrogating Jagdish Kanani, whose custody they have till Friday. “So far, he has not been cooperative. Even now he has not told us where he has hidden all the hard disks from the bogus call centres that were run by him in Borivli and Malad,” the officer said. Apart from Kanani, the police have arrested 72 persons in the case.
The scam was busted on October 5 when the Thane police raided 12 call centres in Mira Road-Bhayander area, where employees would make calls to US citizens posing to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials.