Ludhiana key accused of call center scam ripped off in Gujarat: the Tribune India
Tribune press service
Ludhiana, July 16
Advancing the investigation into the bogus call center scam, Ludhiana police arrested defendant Naman Sukhadiya, a lifeline in the case, following a raid in Surat, Gujarat.
Naman was instrumental in obtaining fake foreign bank accounts and credit cards which were used to deposit the proceeds of crime and then transfer them to India through hawala channels or cryptocurrency.
He was in contact with the other accused Dhruv, Lakhan, Yatin, etc. through WhatsApp groups which they used to share details of victims, foreign accounts, hawala transactions and other operational details.
Targeted foreign nationals
- The accused pretending to be tax / insurance authorities used to call citizens of UK, USA, Canada etc. and ask them to transfer money to local accounts, which was then sent to India via hawala or cryptocurrency
- The racket was dismantled on June 30 following a raid on a call center on Pakhowal Road. So far, Rs39 lakh in cash and Rs50 lakh in Bitcoin have been seized from 37 defendants
- The businessman Somal Sood, owner of the building, was among those arrested. He, using his ties to cops and politicians, sheltered defendants and took his part
Once the victim fell into his trap, Naman used to provide details of the foreign accounts the money was to be transferred to after committing the fraud. Naman also helped the other defendants obtain foreign WhatsApp numbers which were used to commit the fraud, said Police Commissioner Rakesh Agrawal.
Cops have the difficult task of listening to more than 10 lakh of recorded calls as the victims were from foreign countries such as UK, US, Canada and no one had so far approached the police.
The defendants had access to robotic calling software, which they used to make 30,000 calls at a time. These preys were transferred by the software to fake call centers and connected to people in India.
“The police need at least a few complainants to present a strong case against the accused. We entered a recording of more than 10 lakhs of calls from the software. All calls are screened to identify the victims, ”said a senior police official investigating the scam.
“The Ludhiana Police will write to the Punjab Police, who, through the Interior Ministry, will communicate with the Foreign Ministry to contact countries to obtain written statements from victims. We will do this once we corroborate the technical and physical evidence seized here, ”said an officer.
DCP Crime Rupinder Kaur Bhatti, who dismantled the racketeering, said having foreign plaintiffs on file would surely strengthen the investigation, but the police had enough technical and physical evidence to ensure a swift conviction of the accused.