Bogus call-centre racket mastermind traced to Dubai

Sagar Thakkar, alias Shaggy, the alleged mastermind of a bogus call-centre racket in India, who duped US nationals of a whopping USD300 million, has finally been traced to Dubai.

The process of issuing a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Thakkar is nearly complete and soon India will also initiate extradition proceedings to bring the mastermind back to the country to face trial, officials told a newspaper in India.

The bogus call centre racket was unearthed by Thane police on October 5, 2016 in which operators posing as Internal Revenue Service officers duped thousands of US citizens of an estimated USD300 million. Between 2012 and 2015, at least 500 employees from nine offices in the Mira Bhayandar area of Thane and in Ahmedabad reportedly made calls to thousands of US citizens posing as IRS officials, demanding that they settle their outstanding tax disputes or face arrest.

call centre racket
In this call centre racket, operators posing as Internal Revenue Service officers duped thousands of US citizens of USD300 million.

Thane police raided the bogus call centres on the night of October 5, 2016 and arrested 70 people. Sagar Thakkar along with his sister Reema fled the same night to Dubai.

A senior officer said, “Last month, we were informed by officials in Dubai that Sagar Thakkar was detained at Dubai airport as he was trying to fly out of UAE. As the entire process of getting an RCN against Sagar was not complete, they could not detain him. But he will not be allowed to fly out of the country. Once the procedure is complete, we will seek his custody.”

The Thane Police began the process of getting the RCN issued last month. As part of the process, all evidence linked to Thakkar was sent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the nodal agency for Interpol, which has further forwarded the dossier.

The officer added, “There are a few formalities that have to be completed after which we will ask for Thakkar to be extradited to India. Based on the interaction we have had so far, we are optimistic about getting Thakkar’s custody soon,”

Sources said Ahmedabad Police and the FBI were also keen to get Sagar in custody.

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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