Thane Police arrested Mira Road call center scam’s mastermind on Sunday, October 16, 2016.
Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy is the ex-boss of the call center scam that profited millions of dollars from American taxpayers. According to Indian CEO, Shaggy’s mentor has also been arrested.
Jagdish Kanani, the founder and mastermind of the scam, was nabbed in Borivali. Kanani is a 35-year-old businessman who had first launched his first call center scam in 2009. He started his career by working in BPO firms abroad. Eventually, established his own businesses across the country by extorting money from US.
Policemen believe that Jagadish trained Shaggy as far as technology and style is concerned. At the same time, police said that Shaggy moved to Mumbai following a dispute with Jagadish. Because of their differences, the Shaggy started his own fake call center in Mira Road. However, the two settled and started working together in 2016.
Kanani was a ‘known name’ in the parallel BPO world in India, according to a source from the police.
“Kanani’s staffers would contact victims in the US claiming to be representatives of companies that offered short-term loans, called ‘payday loans’ in the US. The callers would identify themselves as attorneys for the loan companies and obtained credit card information, dates of birth, confidential telephone numbers and other personal information, which they would use to withdraw money from the victims’ account. In some cases, there are complaints of these people threatening the victims with blackmailing,” the source told Mumbai Mirror.
As per a report by the India CEO, This call center executives would call up Americans stating that they are calling from Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and would threaten them to pay money for tax defaults identified. The agents would threaten to send police in their residences if payment was not done over the phone.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Parag Manera says, “Kanani’s arrest will help us provide a lot of details about Thakkar and other accused. Kanani seems to be the brain behind executing the scam.”
Crime Branch of Thane Police has arrested more persons after a raid of seven call centers in Mira Road. Another 630 persons were arrested for extortion, 419 for cheating by impersonation, 420 for cheating and under relevant sections of IT Act and Indian Telegraph Act.
There are around 700 people involved in the scam and the police is yet to find all who is responsible for the scam.