Thane Police to Seek Details from FBI of Call center Scam in U.STop Stories

July 23, 2018 10:29
Thane Police to Seek Details from FBI of Call center Scam in U.S

(Image source from: The Indian Express)

The conviction of 21 Indian-origin individuals by the United States court of law in a multimillion-dollar India-based call center rip-off is likely to assist detectives of an alike racket in Thane, a city in Maharashtra, build a watertight case against the suspect, Thane Police officials said on Sunday.

Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said, "They (American investigators) have quoted from our case (in the U.S. court). We will seek details (from the Federal Bureau of Investigation). Deputy Commissioner of Police Crime (Abishek Trimukhi) will coordinate."

He said, "We will see what kind of evidence was presented (in the U.S. court) and if we can use it in our case."

A squad of the FBI had visited Thane in 2016 and encountered police officials after the scam came to light.

Related content: Over 20 Indian-origins Sentenced in Massive Call Center Scam in U.S.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mukund Hatote, who is leading the prosecution case in a court here, said, "The Thane Police should obtain the entire (U.S.) judgment and evidence presented there to make its own case strong and ensure the conviction of the accused."

In 2016, the police at Thane had broken a multi-crore fake call center scam in which Indian telecallers allegedly swindled the U.S.-based taxpayers.

The racket, which functioned in the city since 2013 through half-a-dozen call centers in Thane, targeted at least 15,000 U.S.-based taxpayers. The alleged mastermind of the racket was identified as one Sagar Thakkar alias 'Shaggy', according to the police.

The police had at that time put the scam sum at USD 300 million and detained nearly 300 people spread over numerous months in connection with the scam. Thakkar (24) was arrested in Mumbai in May 2017.

Subsequently, Thane Police teams invaded five call centers in Ahmedabad which were part of the racket. "Shaggy was also named as an accused in the US case (he was however not among the convicts)," the police commissioner said.

The prison sentences for the 21 people sentenced in the U.S. this week ranged from four to 20 years.

According to the U.S. officials, the racket swindled thousands of the U.S. inhabitants of hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to numerous admissions made in connection with the guilty pleas, amid 2012 and 2016, the offenders and their schemers committed a complex fraud and money laundering scheme.

As part of the scam, persons from call centers situated in Ahmedabad impersonated officials from the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in a trick intended to deceive victims situated throughout America.

A similar modus operandi was used in the Thane call center racket, officials said.

By Sowmya Sangam

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