2 arrested for posing as UK tax department officials, running fake call centre in central Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) A 36-year-old man and his associate were arrested for allegedly posing as officials of the UK tax department and duping several UK-based citizens through a fake call centre in central Delhi's Rajinder Nagar area, police said on Wednesday.

The accused, Parvinder Singh, was operating the call centre illegally for the last one-and-a-half years in partnership with his brother-in-law Pankaj Kapoor (40), they said.

They had not obtained any license or permission from the competent authority and had set up their office on the sixth floor of a building at Rajinder Place, police said.

Kapoor was a property dealer before he partnered with Singh, they said.

An action was taken against them after police were informed about the fake income tax centre on November 7.

On reaching the spot, 19 people, including six women, were found working on their laptops and systems. They were engaged in making and receiving calls via internet and Singh was supervising their activities. When questioned, he could not give a satisfactory reply, said Sanjay Bhatia, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central).

Later, police found that the employees at the call centre posed themselves as officials of the UK tax department and approached UK-based citizens through VOIP calls by gaining access to their data via various online websites, he said.

Police said that this way, the accused were causing wrongful loss to government exchequer and cheating people based in abroad.

A case was registered in this regard at Prasad Nagar police station and based on further investigation, Singh was arrested in the case while 19 others who worked at the call centre under him were interrogated and released after being questioned, the DCP said.

Singh's associate was also arrested in connection with the case, he said.

'During interrogation, Singh disclosed that being a partner, Kapoor also regularly received huge cash share of the cheated amount. The two targeted people after gaining access to their mobile numbers through online websites and social media platforms.

'They started the operations of their call centre with around 20 seats and recruited employees through advertisements in newspapers and other platforms,' Bhatia said.

The accused was running the call centre on the pretext of operating a tour and travel agency and the employees worked in shifts according to the UK-based timings. They called up their potential targets in the UK and asked them to pay their due taxes and received the cheated amount in a fake account created by them for the purpose, he said.

Initially, they contacted the account holders and even threatened them about the consequences if they do not transfer money in the accounts, following which he received payments. The payment was later converted into Bitcoin through a person who gave cash to the accused after deducting his commission, the DCP said.

Singh also disclosed that one Sourabh is an accomplice of Kapoor, who through Havala and other means, brought cheated money into India for Kapoor and him, he said.

Police recovered cash worth Rs 19,64,400, 32 laptops, five mobile phones, head phones and various other items from the fake call centre. PTI AMP KJ KJ

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