Mumbai

Two fake call centres in name of Bajaj Finance busted, five arrested

The Vashi police, acting on a complaint from the fraud control unit of Bajaj Finance Group, have recently busted two fake call centres run in the name of Bajaj Finance and arrested two persons from Mumbai and three from Delhi.

The fraud control unit received complaints from people that they were approached by the customer care executives of the finance company who would offer loan at 4% interest and take payments in the name of processing fee and GST and later switch off their phone numbers.

“We got information about two suspicious call centres operational at Haware Infotech Park and Vashi Plaza. Along with the fraud control unit of the company, we raided the call centres and verified their documents and found that they were fake,” assistant police inspector Sachin Dhage from Vashi police station said.

Later, the police arrested two managers — Imtiaz alias Sohail Maulana Qureshi (29) and Shabana Sohail Charniya (25) — who ran the call centres.

Senior police inspector Ramesh Chavan from Vashi police station said, “Following their arrest, we traced the main three accused to Delhi after looking at the trail of money transfers. Two more accused are wanted in the case.”

Till now, the police have received 75 complaints of people who were cheated of around ₹15 lakh in total.

The modus operandi of the accused was to take a commercial space on rent for the call centre and then hire girls for speaking to the ‘customer’ by putting up an advertisement in OLX and quicker. The girls would be told that they were employees of Bajaj Finance and given the training.

They would target people from rural areas who were mostly farmers and labourers and were in need of loan, Mr. Dhage said. “They have targeted people from Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Pune Rural, Buldhana, Aurangabad and Satara. The loan was offered between ₹1 lakh and ₹25 lakh and then the person would be asked to send their Aadhaar and PAN details on WhatsApp. The caller would then send their ‘employee ID card’ on WhatsApp to win the customer’s confidence. After procuring some money in the name of processing fee, bank charges, and GST, the callers would switch off their phones and then change their numbers before targeting new customers,” he said.

He added that the victims included a farmer who had taken a loan for his son’s MBA and another farmer who had wanted to purchase a tractor and got a loan of ₹4 lakh. Till now, the police have found seven bank accounts used by the accused. The managers worked on a 10% commission and the rest of the money was transferred to the main accused in Delhi.

The accused arrested from Delhi have been identified as Kallan Jaan Mohammad Mallik (53), Faizan Kallan Mallik (24) and Mohamaddar Junaid Asgar Usmani (20).

In Vashi, the gang had been operating for the last two months and before that they had similar call centres at Koparkhairane and Sion. It is suspected that the accused have been cheating people over the past two years.

All the five accused are in police custody till April 23.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 1:02:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/two-fake-call-centres-in-name-of-bajaj-finance-busted-five-arrested/article34371152.ece

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