The call centre employees would call U.S. citizens posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service, the equivalent to the Income Tax Department in India.
A senior police officer said after raiding seven call centres at Mira Road last week which were duping USA citizens of millions of dollars, investigators found the setup at Ahmedabad was the first one. Investigators said the man could be one of the "brains" behind the scam.
Five days after the Thane police busted a major scam wherein call centres were allegedly duping USA nationals of thousands of crores of rupees for the past one year, its crime branch has identified the scam's key Gujarat-based mastermind who is suspected to have fled the country after the crackdown began.
"We have found a couple of WhatsApp groups on which the call center employees were present and would get data on gullible U.S. citizens", said a police officer. Magistrate A B Katte, after hearing the arguments today, remanded 54 of the accused in judicial remand, four persons in police custody till October 13 and 13 men in police custody till October 14. Police officials said that the call center bust is the tip of the iceberg as the mafia is spread across the country. But Thane police said they seized some material useful for investigation. "We haven't been able to trace any of the employees yet, but we have gathered information from the spot", said an officer from the Thane commissionerate.
A team comprising of 160 police personnel, including 40 officials, swooped down at the Hari Om IT Park in Penkarpada area of Kashimira, Universal Outsourcing Services at Bale House in Naya Nagar and a call center operating from a rental premises in Ostwal House near Shivar Garden, Mira Road. "At a very young age he has mastered the art of cheating foreigners by sitting in India", a police officer said. "However, from the recovered documents and the seating arrangements (at computer terminals) we suspect a total of over 150 people worked there", said the official, adding, "they have been identified and would be put under arrest soon".
USA authorities have contacted Indian officials to request more information about the gang, which apparently had US-based members. Investigators believe the money was sent to Gujarat.