Mira Road call centre scam: Cops arrest one of the main accused

Updated: Jul 10, 2018, 20:15 IST | Anamika Gharat

Thane Crime branch police team receives a tip-off and arrests the accused from Vasai in connection with the Mira Road call-centre scam

Mira Road call centre scam: Cops arrest one of the main accused

The Thane crime branch arrested Tapesh Gupta, who is the childhood friend of Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy, the alleged mastermind of a Rs 1,900 crore call centre scam that rocked Mumbai in 2016. The Crime branch police team received a tip-off and arrested the accused from Vasai. According to the cops, Tapesh used work as a manager in one of the bogus Mira Road call centres. He was absconding after the case was registered.

Cops were on the lookout for Tapesh after the Thane crime branch had arrested one of the accused Akhilesh Singh in connection with the Mira Road call-centre scam in 2016. According to the police, Akhilesh revealed the name of Tapesh Gupta during his interrogation.

A police officer said, "Tapesh, is one of the main accused who helped Shaggy get a place to set up a call centre. Shaggy got in touch with Tapesh, a resident of Vasai and his childhood friend and told him that he wanted to start a call centre in Mira Road. Later, Tapesh joined him as a manager and had the plans to start another call centre on a partnership basis. We are yet to interrogate him about their business deal,”

The Crime Branch arrested more than 70 people in 2016 after carrying out multiple raids in seven call centres that were operating illegally in Mira Road. Another 630 people were booked under IPC sections 384 (extortion), 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating) and under relevant sections of the IT Act and the Indian Telegraph Act.

The Fraud
Multiple fake centres run by different owners were set up from where hired professionals used to make calls to the numbers stored in their database. The database had personal details of thousands of foreign and Indian nationals like their contact numbers, names, addresses and citizenships. Such details were allegedly used to take victims into confidence.

Once they convinced their victims of the urgency of the calls — say for defaulting on tax or insurance payments — the fraudsters threatened them with legal action and coaxed or extorted them into revealing their bank account details. As soon as the details were out, the bank accounts were wiped clean. Alternatively, the victims were encouraged to transfer money to bank accounts provided by the callers.

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