Mira Road fake call centres could be tip of iceberg

But a small group of employees selected for closing the calls; they were trained to issue threats and extort money from the U.S. citizens. The employees would threaten the victims that if they disconnected the line their house would be raided.

The call centres were running a fake tax collection racket where they used to call American citizens and used to siphon off money from them.

As per tentative estimates, the daily turnover from these fraudulent practices is pegged at a whopping Rs 10 million per day (Rs 1 crore daily), even as a probe is on to figure out the exact amounts that may be involved and number of people who have been defrauded.

"A total of 772 people were taken into custody for inquiries", said Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

According to sources in the police force, the racket allegedly had connections outside the country.

"Apart from mobiles and electronic gadgets, including 851 hard disks, high-end servers and DVRs worth more than Rs.1crore, we have also recovered recorded voice calls with transaction details of the huge financial fraud", said Singh. The raids were conducted late night on Tuesday and continued in the wee hours of today. A case has been registered under sections-384, 419, 420, 34 of the IPC, section 72 (1) and 75 of the Information Technology Act and sections 25 (k) of the Indian Telegraph Act.

In a ploy that even a Hollywood scriptwriter would like to incorporate in his/her next movie, hundreds of trained employees at illegal Mira Road call centre have duped citizens of the most technologically advanced country in the world, the United States, of Rs. 500 crore in the past one year. So far, 70 people have been arrested so far and show cause notices have been slapped on 630 other employees. "The mole was given a six-page script to learn and rehearse before being allowed to be a part of the operations", said the officer.

The caller used software to spoof and replicate his number with the local IRS numbers. The US agency has sought the case details as the officials of the call centres had been allegedly duping their citizens for the past year posing as representatives of US tax authorities. "The callers would call the targets and claim to be from the IRS". He worked part-time at the call centre, collected evidence by observing the operations, including calls made in American accent, which helped the police build evidence. "After cheating the USA nationals, these co-workers deducted 30 per cent of the payment amount and transferred the rest to the call centres in Thane via hawala from Ahmedabad".