India’s Biggest IT Raid: 772 call centre employees duped US citizens of Rs 1 crore everyday
Following up on our earlier report about call centre employees scamming US citizens, Thane Police chief Param Bir Singh revealed additional details about the operation during a press briefing on Wednesday.
A total of 772 employees from across three separate call centres from Mira Road were detained, while another 62 were arrested.
Haider Ali Ayub Mansoori, Shaheen urf Hamza Iqbal Balesar, Kabir Vardhan, Ulhas Gupta, Arjun Naresh Vasudev, Abdullah Shaukat Zariwala, Johnson Supreme Dantosa, Govind Manoj Thakur and Ankit Anil Gupta, are believed to be the ‘owners’ of the operation.
All accused have been booked under sections 384 (extortion), 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) and under relevant sections of the IT Act and Indian Telegraph Act with Kashimira Police Station
Total equipment worth Rs 1 crore, including hard drives, high end servers, laptops, mobile phones, DVRs among others, were seized from the premises.
The raid was carried out by over 200 police personnel, most of whom were from the Crime Branch. The raids were conducted late night on Tuesday and continued in the wee hours of today.
According to police, the persons operated from call centres in Mira Road locality and posed as officials of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the equivalent to the Income Tax Department in India.
They would call up US citizens and demand their financial and bank details under the guise of ‘tax revision’.
Those who were reluctant to share their details were threatened with legal and federal consequences.
“The callers told them that they were calling from the IRS office. They told them he/she was a tax defaulter and that the money should be paid immediately. They threatened that action will be taken them by police and Tax department. The caller used to first demand around USD 10,000 and later settle for around USD five to three thousand and ask them to make the payment through pre-loaded cards,” Singh said
Upon receiving the requisite information from the American citizens, the callers would siphon off money from their accounts. The money was later transferred to a local account and subsequently withdrawn.
According to police estimates, over Rs 1 crore was siphoned off from unsuspecting citizens on a daily basis.
After receiving a tip off about these unlawful activities, cops started keeping a tab on the employees and raided the call centres running illegally at the premises of Hari Om IT Park, Universal Outsourcing Services and Oswal House in Mira Road last night.
According to one report, the call centres duped nearly 6,500 Americans of over 36 million US dollars.