"Police are still running the investigation."
Thane Crime Branch and 200 policemen raided three Indian call centres that have been fooling people in the US.
With more than 700 employees involved, the call centres were allegedly running a fake tax collection racket where they used to call US citizens to drain money from their bank accounts.
The commissioner who ran the raid, Param Bir Singh, commented:
“They used to call American citizens posing as Internal Revenue System employees. Using fake IDs, they would threaten the victims with legal action.
“Then they used to give them an easy way out, which was to pay a certain amount to them immediately as surety. The money was transferred using cash cards.”
The raid took almost 12 hours, where police seized material worth Rs 1 crore (approximately £120,000). They also arrested eight people, who they believe were managing the entire fraudulent operation.
There was a total of nine call centres running in the three different areas:
“Only 10 percent of their calls used to be successful, but that fetched them cash,” Singh expanded.
The call centres operated by using software to duplicate local American numbers, to fool US citizens into thinking that the call was not international.
Those on the receiving end would then be told that the IRS had found some tax-evading evidence and that the local police would be informed to arrest them if they disconnected the call.
The caller would offer these victims a way out. They were told to purchase cash cards from stores and told to reveal the 16-digit code on the cards. The money was transferred to the caller’s counterpart in America, who in turn used to credit the amount to his account.
After deducting a 30 percent share, the rest of the amount was then transferred to Indian bank accounts. It is believed that the daily turnover was Rs 1.5 Crore or £180,000.
The police, therefore, believe that there are people outside India who also helped to manage the scam and are still running the investigation to try to locate others who are behind this crime.
A total of 772 workers were detained from the raids. 70 were placed under formal arrest, 630 were released pending questioning over the coming days, and 72 were freed without further investigation.