MUMBAI: Indian police said Monday they had made a key arrest in a multi-million-dollar tax scam targeting US citizens, which they hope will soon lead them to the mastermind.
Jagdish Kanani, 33, was arrested in Mumbai on Sunday and is suspected of helping main suspect Sagar Thakkar, known as “Shaggy”, run bogus call centres in western India that were defrauding US citizens.
“We believe Kanani was involved with ‘Shaggy’ in running the call centres,” Parambir Singh, the commissioner of police in the Mumbai suburb of Thane, told AFP. “With Kanani’s arrest and interrogation we are hopeful of solving the case soon,” Singh added.
Earlier this month Thane police in several raids arrested more than 70 people suspected of defrauding Americans by posing as tax officials from the United States’ Internal Revenue Service.
Indian police, FBI seek call centre fraud kingpin
They operated from a handful of fictional call centres and would telephone victims, accuse them of failing to pay taxes and threaten them with jail if they did not cough up immediately, it is alleged.
Police, who initially detained at least 770 people during the operation, say the scam was operating for over a year and the fraudsters were making around 10 million rupees ($150,000) a day.
Police suspect that Thakkar, a 23-year-old from Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, fled India, possibly to Dubai, following the raids in Thane, which sits on the northern outskirts of India’s financial capital. India became the call centre capital of the world early this century.
US and other foreign firms, drawn by India’s large, educated and cheaper English-speaking workforce, farmed out a wide range of jobs from answering bank client calls and train timetable inquiries to IT support.
But India recently lost its crown to the Philippines and is struggling to maintain its share of the global outsourcing market.
courtesy : express tribune