In a major crackdown on international cyber criminals in Guwahati city, the city police detained as many as 144 male and 47 female employees in the gang on Friday.
Speaking to media about the development, Guwahati Commissioner of police, Diganta Barah said, “We received inputs that fake call centres have been running in Guwahati city from last two years. These call centres operates at night, there will be no labour during the day. Because we had no information about the particular location, we began to investigate the matter from our side and identified the persons (master mind) behind the case.”
The city police chief also informed that they have also managed to get the lists of the call centres and from where they are operating.
“As per our inputs more than 50 call centres are operating in the city from where cyber criminals are duping gullible Indian and foreign nationals and have siphoned of their hard-earned money. So far we have traced eight locations in the city, where these call centres are operating and accordingly, we took them as our targets. The raids were conducted simultaneously. We made a team of more 15 police personnel led by one DCP or ADCP or ACP in each team and the raids were conducted on multiple locations including in some residences, buildings and malls last night,” added the CP.
How do the Cyber Gangs operate?
It has come to the fore that many young boys and girls from various states including Assam were employed in these fake call centres. They have created their fake profiles and internet-based telephone exchanges where could make nearly 400 to 500 calls (both incoming and outgoing calls). The transaction of money was done in the form of Bitcoins or in the form of Gift vouchers (For Eg-Amazon).
“These scammers send pop-up notifications to the personal computers or mobile handsets of the victims and guide them through video calls. At times, these cyber criminals also start to scare them by creating a sense of urgency that their (victims) personal information will be erased or computers will be hacked, bank accounts will be hacked, etc. The gang worked together with national-international circles and has connections with cyber criminals operating from Delhi and Gurgaon. Two of the masterminds managed to escape from Guwahati after getting a hint of the police operation; however, they were later apprehended from Bhabanipur in Bajali district. While one more person was also arrested last night, many more are still absconding,” said CP Barah.
The arrested masterminds have been identified as Debojyoti Dey alias David; originally a native from Assam’s Karimganj district was based in Guwahati since 2009. The other two accused are Rajan Sidana of Ludhiana in Punjab and Vikram Arora of Delhi.
Barah also highlighted the fact that in New Guwahati location where the operation was carried out last night, the gang was operating in two rented buildings in Bamunimaidam. The monthly turnover of an average call centre runs into crores, hence crores of money are siphoned from victims to fund the expenses.
Interestingly, it has also come to light that many job aspirants (both males and females) who are being part of the scam were hired by the recruiter through social media advertisements.
They also keep changing their locations (centres) within a period of two-three months in order to avoid any suspicion.
The call centres busted in Guwahati were located at Bamunimaidam, VIP Road, Borbari, Zoo Road Tiniali, Rajgarh Road, ABC Point, Christian Basti and Guwahati Central Zoo Road.
Meanwhile, the crime branch of the city police seized a total of 166 computers, 90 laptops and more objectionable items during the raid.