News : Enforcement Directorate Identifies Call Centres in Money Laundering Cases
New Delhi, Nov 20, 2014 -- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has identified gang members of certain Pakistan-based call centres who cheated many Indians monetarily by promising a part in several popular Indian TV reality shows. The directorate has decided to book the gang members who are Indian citizens under stringent provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Sources said, "Investigations by the agency has revealed that the gang-members received hefty commission from their Pakistan-based handlers. The money was routed to Pakistan through Saudi Arabia via ‘Hawala’ channels". The agency sleuths suspect that the money might have been used for anti-India activities.
Investigations revealed that the Pakistan-based operatives were luring susceptible Indian citizens into their trap by pretending to be calling on behalf of call centres associated with reputed brands or programs. "The victims used to get calls telling them that they had won a lottery running into Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh based up on the selection of their cell-phone number in a random draw and the prize money would be paid to them on the sets of the reality show itself", sources said. "The agency has identified several Pakistan-based phone numbers which were used to make call to Indians for the purpose. These numbers are: 00923084816187 and 00923016533218", sources said.
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"The tele-callers would then direct the interested person to another Pakistani number to maintain their cover of acting as professionals from a call centre and telling the victim that he was being connected to the lottery processing unit", sources said. They would later call up the victim asking him to deposit a certain processing fee in an Indian bank account and as soon as the money was deposited, it was withdrawn by an Indian associate of this syndicate, sources said.
The ED sleuths will also seek clarifications from those Indians who were cheated by the gang-members.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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