The Mumbai Police Crime Branch last week filed chargesheets in connection with the two FIRs registered after two fraudulent call centres were allegedly busted in Mumbai on November 1 last year. The two chargesheets that together ran into 900 pages have given details about the role played by the 21 accused allegedly involved in running the call centre racket.
Those employed at the two call centres located at Goregaon and Malad would allegedly make calls to US citizens pretending to be calling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and take money from them under the guise of overdue tax returns.
A senior Crime Branch officer said, “Two chargesheets were filed in the case before a magistrate court last week. We have charged 21 people including those who owned the call centres, those who got the payments routed from US to India and those actually making the fraudulent phone calls.” The officer added that the accused have been booked on the charge of cheating (Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code) in addition to other sections of the IPC and the Indian Telegraph Act.
Based on a tip-off, a team from unit 3 of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had carried out raids at two flats in Goregaon and Malad where they allegedly found illegal call centres operating. After investigation, the police found that the accused had purchased data of US citizens and would make phone calls pretending to be calling from IRS. The accused would be convinced to make a payment in gift cards if they did not want to face legal action.
The police have further added in the chargesheet that the accused then handed over this gift card number to their agent in China who routed 80 per cent of the money to India that was eventually shared by the accused persons. The officer added, “We found that the call centres had started operating four to five months back before we busted them. Some of the accused had worked in bogus call centres in the past because of which they had prior expertise in setting up the call centre.”