Call centre fraud: ED arrests three for allegedly cheating foreign nationals

The agency seizes ₹90.37 lakh in cash after searches in locations linked to the accused in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh

July 02, 2023 04:52 pm | Updated 04:52 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) logo. File

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) logo. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested three persons for allegedly running a syndicate that cheated foreign nationals, including those from the United States, Canada and Philippines, on the pretext of arranging loans at low rates.

Among the arrestees are “mastermind” Shahnawaz Ahamed Jeelani and his two close associates, Vipin Kumar Sharma and Viraj Singh Kuntal. The agency has taken their custody till July 5. Another close aide of the main accused has been identified as Mahmud Khan.

The ED also searched the locations linked to the accused persons in Rajasthan’s Jaipur and Nagaur; Mathura, Kanpur, Allahabad and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. It seized ₹90.37 lakh in cash from three premises and incriminating materials from two call centres in Mathura, including the details of thousands of foreign nationals who were cheated over the years.

According to the ED, it has unearthed money trail involving about ₹54 crore in-wired to India in more than 50 entities controlled by the accused.

Currently, they were running the Mathura call centres during night hours and cheating foreign nationals. Some of the people working there were found to be those who had been operating from the Jaipur call centres when the Rajasthan police had earlier carried out searches and made arrests based on multiple cases.

The syndicate had opened virtual entities in the U.S. by impersonating some Indian nationals, the agency said.

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