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PUNE: The police on Monday night raided a bogus call centre in the upmarket Koregaon Park area here, which is suspected of having cheated more than 11,000 US citizens by issuing threats of punishment for tax evasion. Three men operating the call centre were arrested.
Significantly, the United States (US) federal government’s Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have lent their support to the Pune police’s economic and cyber crimes cell in the investigation of the call centre operations.
During the raid, the police got details of two similar call centres operating in two other states in the country. The police did not identify the locations or the people behind the two centres, citing ongoing investigations.
A police team left Pune on Tuesday to trace the two centres. The US authorities are monitoring the developments in all three cases.
The police are in the process of assessing the overall quantum of money made by the Pune call centre and are examining the bank accounts of the three arrested men. The police have also identified four more suspects, who are yet to be arrested.
Deputy commissioner of police Sudhir Hiremath told TOI, “The IRS and the FTC, which is a federal agency for the protection of consumers, have decided to extend their help to our probe.
The suspects have used the names of American agencies extensively while issuing the threats. They forced US citizens to pay amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000 by threatening them with severe punishment if caught by the IRS for evading taxes.”