Call centre scam mastermind bought Audi R8 for Rs 2.5 cr from Virat Kohli, seized by Thane police

Call centre scam mastermind bought Audi R8 for Rs 2.5 cr from Virat Kohli, seized by Thane police
Left, Mid: Pictures of the seized Audio R8; Right (top): Accused Sagar Thakkar; Right (bottom): Virat Kohli with the car

Police have seized a luxury car from Sagar Thakkar a.k.a ‘Shaggy’, main accused of multi-million dollar call-centre scam, which was purchased from cricketer Virat Kohli.

The white-colored Audi R8 sportscar, originally valued at Rs 3 crore and allegedly bought by Thakkar for Rs. 2.5 crore, was seized by Thane police from Ahmedabad. According to officials, Thakkar (23) had bought the vehicle to gift it to his girlfriend on her birthday.

Thane’s police chief Param Bir Singh on Friday said that the car was purchased from Virat Kohli in May. The cricketer, however, was unaware of Thakkar’s activities and the sale was closed by a Delhi-based broker.

While India’s test cricket captain is not linked to Thakkar or his actions in any way, the car is still registered in Kohli’s name as Thakkar never forwarded the details of his PAN Card and other documents to get it transferred.

Meanwhile, police believe that Thakkar has been holed up in Dubai along with his sister Reema, who is also an accused in the racket.

The accused was born in Borivali and later moved to Ahmedabad, where he learnt about the call centre industry. After setting up ‘fake’ call centres there, he expanded his operations and setup up a few more in Mira Road and Bhayander.

The scam came to light earlier this month when Thane police raided a dozen call centres in Mira Road-Bhayander where employees defrauded more than 6,000 Americans of millions of dollars.

October 5 when Thane police raided 12 call centres in the Mira Road-Bhayander area where employees would make calls to US citizens posing to be from their Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

US agency FBI is also assisting the police in investigating the scam where callers pretended to be from US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Immigration Department and threatened with with arrest and deportation if they did not pay a certain amount to the government.

According to the US Justice Department, the victims were later directed to people working with the call centres in the United States to collect the ‘fines’ through prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, and the money was quickly laundered out of the country.

US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Friday said these call centres stole more than $300 million from their victims.

Subsequently, police teams raided and shut down five call centres in Ahmedabad which were a part of the racket. Over 70 people, mostly directors and key persons linked to these call centres, have been arrested till now.

The department will seek the extradition of the Indians charged in the case.

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