In a raid conducted during the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Crime Branch uncovered a fake call centre that had been duping unsuspecting citizens across the United States. The scene of the bust: a seemingly ordinary house-turned-illegal call centre at Orlando Garden, Alto Torda, Porvorim.
During the raid, 18 individuals were apprehended. This group had been meticulously gathering personal information from US citizens who had applied for loans, exploiting their vulnerability. Operating through the cunning façade of the E-loan Company or Merchant Cash Advance Company, the culprits used the Google Voice Application to connect with their victims.
Posing as legitimate staff of an E-loan Company or Merchant Cash Advance Company staff, they lured victims into believing they were about to receive the loans they sought, only to demand a 10% processing fee or security deposit. Ingeniously, the scam artists insisted on digital payment methods like Google Play gift card/ Apple pay Gift card/ Walmart Gift card/ Target Gift card. Once obtained, these gift cards were liquidated and the funds were funnelled to the account of their agent in the United States.
The masterminds behind this intricate scheme have been unveiled as Sagar Mehtani and his wife Bansari Tanavani. Investigations revealed a complex trail, with the duped funds flowing through Hawala transactions, eventually making their way to Mehtani's coffers.
The seized evidence paints a damning picture: 13 laptops, 13 mobile phones, 4 modems, and 4 routers, along with assorted accessories collectively valued at approximately ₹15,00,000. The gravity of the operation has prompted the filing of Crime No. 102/2023, citing sections 419, 420, and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, alongside Sections 66-C and 66-D of the IT Act, 2000, at the Crime Branch Police Station.