Fake call centre scam mastermind Sagar Thakkar ‘Shaggy’ arrested in Mumbai

Ravi Kaushal
The scale of the scam could be gauged from the fact that US department of justice charged 61 people and business entities who charged taxpayers based in America for non-existent dues.

Thane, April 9: Making a big lead in internal revenue service call centre scam, the Thane police on Saturday arrested the mastermind Sagar Takkar ‘Shaggy’ in Mumbai after his deportation from Dubai. The scam duped the innocent American citizens to the tune of $300 million. The scam was unearthed last year when the Thane police raided the compound of fictitious call centres at Mira Raod in the night of October 4-5. The scale of the scam could be gauged from the fact that US department of justice charged 61 people and business entities who charged taxpayers based in America for non-existent dues.

An earlier investigation revealed that the employees of the call centres used to threaten American citizen alleging that they flouted laws by not paying non-existent dues and the police action would be started if the dues are not cleared immediately. Many American citizens fell prey to their scam by making payments to the accounts associated with the business entities run by Sagar Thakkar.

The investigating authorities informed that US Homeland security is also looking into the matter. US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson had earlier said that these call centres stole more than USD 300 million from their victims.

According to police, they had issued a LOC (Look Out Circular) against Sagar on October 7, two days after his escape. The kingpin was suspected to have fled to Dubai. Investigators say Sagar (24) led a lavish lifestyle and was accompanied by around a dozen bouncers. He was a regular at posh late night parties in Mumbai and was also fond of high-end cars.

He began working at the age of 16 with his ‘mentor’ Jagdish Kanani, who had worked in the call centres abroad. Kanani (33), who was arrested from suburban Borivali last October had trained him, they said.

Thane police had seized an Audi car belonging to Sagar, valued at Rs 2.5 crore, from Ahmedabad in October last year. It was allegedly purchased from Virat Kohli in May last year.

(With inputs from PTI)