Guwahati Police Bust Over 200 Illegal Call Centers, Apprehend 3 Masterminds in Major Operation

Editor Editor
Friday, September 15, 2023
Guwahati Police Bust Over 200 Illegal Call Centers, Apprehend 3 Masterminds in Major Operation
250 Individuals Detained as Scam Call Centers Targeting India and Abroad Face Crackdown

Former IAS Officer's Son on the Run as Police Uncover Links to Illicit Call Center Network
In a significant crackdown on illegal call centers, the Guwahati Police have apprehended three masterminds and detained 250 individuals following a series of raids across the city. The operation, led by the Crime Branch of Guwahati Police, aimed to dismantle scam call centers that had been operating for the past two years, engaging in fraudulent activities and siphoning money from unsuspecting victims in India and abroad.

Amidst this operation, the name of the son of a former IAS rank official has emerged, with sources indicating that he is currently evading authorities.

Guwahati Commissioner of Police, Diganta Barah, provided insights into the operation, explaining that the call centers primarily conducted their illicit activities during the night. These scammers masqueraded as tech support personnel, leveraging pop-up advertisements and toll-free numbers to deceive victims into believing they were contacting legitimate service centers. Once they gained remote access to victims' devices, the scammers would falsely claim that personal information or bank accounts were compromised, pressuring victims into making payments using bitcoin or gift vouchers.

These illegal call centers were discovered to have international connections, with links to criminal groups in Delhi, Gurgaon, and other locations. The scammers received their commissions in Indian rupees and transferred the remaining funds to gang leaders through hawala channels. Victims, both Indian and international, often from the United States, suffered financial losses, with payments made in dollars.

During the meticulously planned raids, police teams simultaneously targeted eight different locations, including residences, commercial buildings, and shopping malls. The operations unfolded across various areas of Guwahati, including Bamunimaidam, Borbari, Rajgarh, Gandhibasti, ABC point, and Ganneshnguri.

Employees working at these call centers were incentivized based on the number of successful scams they executed.

Recruitment for these illicit call centers primarily took place through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Unemployed individuals were contacted, interviewed, and subsequently trained for the job. Many employees claimed they were unaware of the illegal nature of their work, while others were enticed by the promise of easy money.

The police operation also uncovered that call centers frequently changed their locations to evade detection, recruiting young individuals from various Indian states, including Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, and Haryana. These scammers specifically targeted educated unemployed youths, and some call centers even employed IT experts to facilitate their fraudulent activities.

During the operation, police apprehended 144 individuals, including 47 women, aged between 21 and 25 years. Additionally, law enforcement seized 164 desktop computers, 90 laptops, 26 mobile phones, and various electronic gadgets.

The three masterminds captured during the operation were identified as Debajyoti Dey, also known as David (aged 30-31 years) from Karimganj, Rajen Sidana (owner of two call centers) from Ludhiana, and Dibyam Arora (aged 31) from Delhi.

Commissioner of Police Diganta Barah cautioned property owners in the city to exercise vigilance when renting out buildings to prevent the establishment of such illegal operations. This major operation serves as a significant step toward curbing the activities of fraudulent call centers in the region.