As many as 42 persons, including 26 men and 16 women were arrested by the Delhi Police on Sunday, December 20, for allegedly running an illegal call centre in Peeragarhi area, and duping over 3,500 foreign nationals to the tune of ₹70 crores.
According to the police, the accused posed as officers from the law and other government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the US Marshals Service, while contacting the foreign nationals to deceive them.
The Police have also seized 90 digital devices and ₹4.5 lakh in cash from them, as reported by Outlook.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Anyesh Roy informed that the department received a tip-off about the illegal call centre being operated from the Peeragarhi and that those working there targeted foreign nationals. Thereafter, the team conducted a raid in the area in West Delhi.
During interrogation, the accused disclosed how they deceived people, and extorted money in the form of Bitcoins and gift cards, by telling the victims that their details had come up in a case of crime.
The foreign nationals (victims) were told that their bank accounts and other assets were being frozen, as they were being used for making illegal transactions to drug cartels in Mexico and Columbia.
They also threaten the victims with immediate arrest, police said. To avoid the arrest, the victims were given two options- either to take legal action or to go for an alternative dispute resolution, which they said would be faster and easier.
As the dispute resolution, the accused used to ask the victims to share their financial details, including the bank account numbers and the amount available, said the police.
In the case of Bitcoins, these were transferred to wallets operated by the call centre. The victims were told that these were safe government wallets, the DCP said. For gift cards, they were asked to share the number of their cards that they would link to their new bank accounts.
A similar incident was reported last week, where 54 people were arrested, including 45 men and nine women, from Moti Nagar area of Delhi, for allegedly running a fake call centre and extorting money from foreign nations to the tune of Rs 100 crores.