A day after police arrested the son of late trustee and director of Ankur School in Paldi for allegedly running an illegal call centre targeting US citizens from the school premises, the school body has formed an internal committee to investigate the matter.
Viraj Desai, son of late Ira Desai, trustee and director of Ankur School in Paldi, was arrested along with five other persons early on Wednesday by the Ahmedabad Cyber Cell Police for allgedly running an illegal call centre from one of the rooms on the school premises. Desai is also the grandson of late Freny Desai, founder of Ankur School.
On Thursday, the trustees of Ankur School conducted a meeting, where it was decided to form an internal committee to probe the matter. Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad District Education Officer (DEO) issued a notice to the school trustees and principal on Wednesday where the notice said that the school building cannot be used for any purpose other than education and asked to explain how and why a call centre was running from there.
“The trustees have decided to form a committee to investigate the matter and find out who all were aware of the call centre being run from the school premises. Viraj Desai is the son of former director and trustee of Ankur School and his maternal grandmother founded the school therefore, he used to enter the premises at odd hours in good faith. Since the call centre activities were being conducted during night hours, we were not aware of it. Regarding the notice by DEO, the school management will communicate in the next two days,” said Momin Qazi, principal, Ankur School, Paldi, Ahmedabad.
The Cyber Cell team raided the premises of Ankur School early on Wednesday following a complaint that a call centre targeting US citizens was being operated from a specific location in Paldi. Police said that Desai and his men called US citizens using a software and impersonated as officials from the social security administration department.
They told the victims that their social security number was detected, allegedly used to rent a vehicle that was caught by US police transporting drugs. Instilling fear in the victims, the accused group then demanded them to pay through their Google Play cars or I tunes account.
Desai and five others were booked under IPC 419, 420, 384, 120 B for cheating by impersonation, fraud, extortion and criminal conspiracy along with sections of the IT Act. Along with Desai, one Manthan Khatik, who was allegedly employed as admin staff in Ankur School, was also arrested.
Police received two days remand for Viraj and five others in this case on Thursday. Police said that Viraj has been running the call centre from midnight to 4 am for the past one month and that he chose the school premises for the purpose “only on a temporary basis”. He also said that he started the call centre before Diwali and planned to operate it only during school vacations, police said.
“We have received two days remand for the six accused and currently, we are determing the amount the accused group duped from US citizens. Till now, the role of any school administrator has not come to light,” said VB Barad, inspector and invigilating officer, Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell.