Confirming the arrests, DCP (north) Sagar Singh Kalsi said the gang made extortion calls to victims through VOIP Sim box gateway devices to remain untraceable. “The gang offered short-term loans online through the apps at a very low interest rate, but soon inflated the rates exorbitantly,” the DCP said.
The police had started investigation after receiving a complaint regarding harassment from unscrupulous elements. An FIR was registered and a team comprising ACP Dharmender Kumar formed to investigate the matter. A detailed technical analysis of call records and money trail was carried out. The police team then mounted surveillance on suspect mobile numbers, which helped them zero in on the location of the alleged calling number at Sangam Vihar.
A raid was conducted and a woman named Renu was apprehended. She revealed that she worked at a call centre located at East of Kailash. The details provided by the woman matched with the day, time and location of the suspect number. Immediately, a team comprising inspector Pawan Tomar and others was constituted and a raid conducted. At the spot, a full-fledged call centre was found operational with around 50 people working at that moment.
“The staff was quizzed on the basis of Renu’s inputs and it emerged that half of the employees were working for prominent finance companies and a section of employees was working for the Chinese loan apps under this cover,” DCP Kalsi said.
Seventeen suspects, including the manager named Amit, were apprehended. The mastermind, Mohsin, however, could not be traced. Raids are being conducted to nab him and his other accomplices.
“As the accused persons had control over all the data through remote-access apps, there was a possibility of data deletion. Therefore, during the raid, the police team used extensive tech-based solutions and downloaded the entire live data being run in the system,” the DCP added.
During interrogation, some of the accused disclosed that they met Mohsin Khan about three years ago when he was working at a call centre. Due to low income, they opted for running a recovery call centre for Chinese loan apps.
Khan and his aide, Firdaus, used to provide the login ID and password for these apps. The call centre employees would make calls through VOIP Sim Box Ggateway devices installed by Mohsin, who used to change it frequently to dodge police action.
Payments were made by the targets through the link provided in the Chinese apps and Mohsin would get his share from his seniors. Many desktops, laptops and mobile phones were recovered from the alleged call centre, data from which had been extracted for technical analysis, police said.