Thane: Over 500 call centre employees were detained near Mumbai last night for allegedly cheating and robbing US citizens.
The employees, including top officials, were questioned all night after raids at three call centres by some 200 policemen. The companies are at Mira Road in the Thane district.
"We have detained around 700-800 people. It is an international racket," said police officer Paramvir Singh.
The call centre workers would pretend to be tax officials and blackmail Americans in the name of tax irregularities. The owner of one of the companies, reportedly based in the US, allegedly stole information and passed it on to the call centres. Executives would then call clients pretending to be tax investigators.
Those who believed the threats would fork out thousands of dollars to "settle" their case.
Many employees would demand financial and bank details from clients and use them to take out money from their accounts,
Over Rs 1 crore was stolen daily, say the police. The callers would often use 911 and threaten people with arrest to extract information.
The raids started last evening and continued till the early hours today.