A call centre operating illegally in Mumbra township in Thane district of Maharashtra and providing services to two US-based pharma companies, was busted and its owner was arrested, police said on Friday.
The accused, identified as Abdul Vashid Kadir Chowdhary (23), was arrested following a raid on the call centre located at Amrut Nagar locality in Mumbra on Thursday morning, police said.
Senior inspector of Mumbra police station Kishore Pasalkar said the police had received a tip-off that the call centre was being run without permission.
Based on the tip-off, Thane Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar directed the Mumbra police to act and the raid was carried out around 6 am on Thursday, he said.
During the raid, Chowdhary was found directing and guiding three persons, who were making calls.
“It was found that the calls were being made through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a technology that allows a person to make voice calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular phone line,” Pasalkar said.
The three callers told the police that they had been appointed on a monthly salary of Rs 12,000 for the task of making calls, for which they had received training.
Explaining the modus operandi, the officer said, “The call centre executives used to call the US-based citizens and ask them if they had pain in their back, knees or other parts of the body. They made calls on behalf of the two US-based medical companies,” Pasalkar said.
Once the persons receiving the call told about their pain and ailment, the callers used to seek their personal details, like age, location, etc and inform them that they would get a free belt from the company.
The callers used to pass on the information to the two US-based companies, which would then provide the belts to the beneficiaries and get the payment through medical insurance, he said.
“This call centre was operating illegally for years and the arrested accused told the police that he was an agent of the US companies and got commission from them,” Pasalkar said.
During the raid, the police seized several accessories including a monitor and a CPU, collectively valued over Rs 1.13 lakh, the police said.
Chowdhary has been charged under IPC section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and different sections of the Indian Telegraph Act, he said.
Further investigation is on.