Three people have been arrested for allegedly running a fake call centre in Noida and duping hundreds of job seekers by promising them jobs in an airline, police said on Tuesday.

Those who have been arrested are the gangs’ mastermind Shadab Malik, 26, and his accomplices Priyanka Goswami, 22, and Kumud Ranjan Kamlesh, 40.

The accused targeted those who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the police said.

Malik and Goswami posed as husband and wife and lived at a rented apartment in Noida from where they ran the fake call centre, police said. The woman would introduce herself as an officer working with the HR department of Air India, they said.

The matter came to light after a victim, Anwesha Datta Gupta, filed a complaint against a job fraud at the Palam police station here. Gupta told police that he was duped of 71,875 by the accused persons on the pretext of a job opportunity with an airline.

So far, police have received at least 10 complaints against the accused.

To trace the suspects, police said they used technical surveillance and collected the bank account and call detail records of the accused. During an investigation, it was found that all the bank accounts and mobile numbers used in the commission of the offence were opened on forged identities. 

Using cyber-surveillance and sourced based information, the police held Malik, who was earlier arrested by Uttarakhand Police for a similar offence, a senior officer said.

Later, raids were conducted at all possible hideouts of other suspects, following which his associate Kumud Rajan Kamlesh was apprehended from East Delhi’s Mayur Vihar and on his instance, Goswami was nabbed too, the officer said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya said that during the investigation, it was found that Malik and his associates made an employer account on a job ad portal and obtained job seekers’ details, including their email addresses, name and phone numbers. 

The woman used to convince job seekers on phone to transfer the money, while her accomplice Kamlesh created fake documents, got multiple accounts registered in his name and also obtained SIM cards of many telecom service providers, he said.

The accused contacted job seekers through email and telephonic calls and introduced themselves as HR, interviewer and verification officers.

The accused would ask victims to deposit 1,875 initially for arranging an online interview and job offer letter. After that, they asked the victim to transfer 18,500 as security amount, 15,700 for uniform and a verification fee of 35,000, the DCP said.

Twelve forged bank accounts of the accused persons have been identified so far. Out of these, details of seven banks accounts have been obtained and approximately 60 lakh cheated amount has been credited in these accounts, police said.

The police said 47,000 has been frozen in their accounts and further details are being obtained from different banks.

The police have recovered a laptop, 10 mobile phones, including SIM-cards, two Wi-Fi routers, 14 debit cards of different banks and two cheque books of fake bank accounts.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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