Mira Road call center scam: Thane cops bank on 20 Americans
Thane cops gather truckload of evidence to make a watertight case against the Mira Road call center scamsters, who cheated thousands of US nationals posing as IRS officers
While the Thane police busted the international scam in October, mastermind Shaggy and his sister Reema Thakkar continue to elude the authorities. File pics
The Thane police have prepared and submitted a more than 2,000-page chargesheet against the accused in the international call centre scam busted in Mira Road. It will be confirmed as ‘filed’ in the Thane sessions court today. Officers said they have gathered a lot of evidence in the case wherein the accused called up US nationals posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers and cheated them of millions of dollars.
A pile of evidence
As part of evidence collected, the police have listed more than 20 Americans, who were cheated, as witnesses. “After we got details about the victims from the hard disks seized as part of the raids, we sent a bulk message, to all of them, asking them to get in touch with us on the Thane police website. Several did, telling how and of how much they were cheated. We recorded the statements of more than 20 of them under section 65B of the Information Technology Act. That has been submitted as vital evidence,” said a senior police officer.
As many as 200 people were spoken to and their statements recorded under section 164 of the CrPC; most of them will be presented as witnesses, while five of the many arrested accused, most of them friends of the main culprit Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy, are likely to turn approvers, and will be added in the chargesheet.
A race against time
With the deadline for submitting the chargesheet being December 4, different investigating teams of the Thane crime branch worked round the clock on the case to submit it before the 60 days were up, so that the accused would not be released on the ground that there was a delay in submission of the chargesheet.
“We had seized the hard disk from the Mira Road call centre; we got call records and conversation recordings from it. After analysing all the data, we took a voice sample of the accused and have added it in the chargesheet,” said another senior officer.
“The scam was spread as far and wide as Ahmedabad, Delhi and Bengaluru.” The chargesheet includes the hard disk, voice messages and mobile forensic data. “A supplementary chargesheet will be submitted in 20 days,” added the officer.
The police are yet to nab the mastermind brother-sister duo of Shaggy and Reema Thakkar. There are more than 10 key players in the case, including Shaggy’s friends Ali, Tapesh, Jimmy and Akhilesh Singh, all of whom are absconding. The investigation had got a shot in the arm after the arrest of one of the partners, Jagdish Kanani.
Number of people arrested in the case
No of people detained in the case