Thane: Probing the call centre con in which US citizens were allegedly cheated of multi-million dollars, police on Saturday said they have come across a Dubai link and suspect that the ill-gotten money might have found way into real estate in the emirate.
Considering the complexity of the illicit operation and vast ambit of the scam, the officials of Home Land Security of US and IRS (Internal Revenue Service) are likely to visit the local police soon, Police Commissioner Paramveer Singh said.
An officer of US security agency FBI had yesterday met senior officials of Thane Police and exchanged information gathered by both the sides about the scam which was unearthed earlier this month.
"Dubai angle emerged during the course of investigation of the case. However, whether the link involves 'Hawala' or otherwise cannot be said at this moment. Dubai angle may be in the form of investment in real estate, cars, or even in costly dresses. However, nothing can be said for sure as of now.
"If it's found that the money from crime was invested in any kind of asset, appropriate action would be taken against the concerned person," Singh said.
He said busting of the call centre racket was one of its kind in the world, considering the magnitude of the con. Singh said the police have mapped around 400 such "unauthorised" call centres operating in and around Thane and Mumbai, besides from places like Gurgaon, Delhi and Noida.
The racket was exposed after city police raided three call centres, which were run illegally on the premises of Hari Om IT Park, Universal Outsourcing Services and Oswal House in Mira Road locality in Thane district on October 4.
The callers, impersonating US tax officials would put up American accent to seek financial and bank details of the citizens of that country and if they refused the information, the scamsters would threaten them with dire consequences, including legal action and penalties.
As per police, the daily turnover of these call centres is said to be to the tune of nearly Rs one crore to Rs 1.50 crore, while the annual turnover could be well above Rs 300 crore.
Police have so far arrested 71 people in the case. Of them, bail applications of 54 persons, who were remanded in judicial custody by a local court earlier, will come up for hearing on Monday.
During the investigation, police also found that high-tech devices like 'magic jacks' were used by scamsters to threaten US citizens. Police are also looking forward to crack DID (direct inward dialling) number of the devices used by the racketeers so as to find out more about their modus operandi.