A 5000-page charge sheet was filed in a special court today in connection with the multi-crore call centre scam wherein the accused based here allegedly duped US citizens by posing as officials of the US’ Internal Revenue Service and made them cough up money by threatening ‘legal action’.
The charge sheet, filed by the crime branch before the special court, names 82 people as the accused in the case and six others as absconding.
Of 82, most of the accused were arrested by police in the crackdown since the scam was exposed in October.
They have been booked under sections 384 (punishment for extortion), 419 (Punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of IPC, under sections 72(1), 75 of IT Act and under Indian Telegraph Act.
Police have attached the complaints filed by some US citizens who were allegedly conned along with the statements by several witnesses, to the charge sheet.
The fraud was unearthed after the crime branch teams raided seven call centres at Mira Road in Thane district on October 4-5. Police had registered total three FIRs in connection with the scam.
Investigators had earlier said they have identified transactions worth Rs 25-30 crore in the scam and that it will take a long time for them to arrive at the actual figure given the magnitude of the scandal.
The alleged mastermind of the scam, Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy, is on the run.
On October 16, police arrested Sagar’s alleged mentor Jagdish Kanani (33) from suburban Borivali. The con syndicate has spread its tentacles nationwide including in cities like Gurgaon, Ahmedabad and Thane.
Besides Kanani, about 70 directors and key persons of these call centres have been arrested.
Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hiray today said the assistance of computer experts was taken to make a watertight case.
The modus operandi adopted by the scamsters was to procure data of US citizens through their contacts and then call their potential targets over phone by impersonating IRS officials.
As per police, the call centre employees, trained in US accent, allegedly used to threaten their targets with legal action over some ‘tax issues’, and those who used to fall prey were asked to pay immediately online.
The US had announced indictment of 61 individuals and entities, including 31 from India, in connection with the scam and had also praised local police for the investigation.
An FBI officer had met Thane Police officials in October and gathered and shared details about the probe.
( Source – PTI )