‘Mas­ter­mind’ helped many cheat Amer­i­can cit­i­zens

Cops ar­rest third ac­cused, who as­sisted oth­ers in start­ing fake call cen­tres and fraud­u­lently con­vert­ing dol­lars to ru­pees

Mid Day - - CITY - SU­RAJ OJHA su­raj.ojha@mid-day.com

TEN days af­ter the Mum­bai Crime Branch ar­rested two ac­cused — David Ge­orge Al­fanso, 22, and IT pro­fes­sional Sandip Dhanushd­hari Ya­dav, 28, for run­ning a fake call cen­tre Xfin­ity at SV Road in And­heri West, the cops nabbed the third ac­cused in the case, Bipin Shahu, who is al­legedly also the mas­ter­mind.

Po­lice sources said Shahu not only ran a smaller unit — In­no­va­tion 360 — at the same premises, but also helped other peo­ple in start­ing fake call cen­tres by pro­vid­ing them data of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, whom they could cheat and make some quick buck. Fol­low­ing his ar­rest in Delhi on Satur­day, Shahu was brought back to Mum­bai in the evening. He will be pro­duced be­fore the holiday court on Sun­day.

Mal­ware at­tack

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the call cen­tre em­ploy­ees con­tacted US cit­i­zens through Voice over In­ter­net Pro­to­col calls and e-mails to in­form them that they could help them re­pair some virus de­tected in their com­put­ers. Those who re­sponded pos­i­tively would be asked to buy gift cards on­line and share the 16-digit num­ber on them. Shahu would then con­vert the dol­lars into ru­pees with the help of the num­ber.

A source fur­ther said, “His ar­rest will help nab the other ac­cused. The cops will also be able to find out whether Shahu helped other peo­ple start fake call cen­tres and con­vert cur­rency in the same man­ner.”

Fol­low­ing the first two ar­rests, the po­lice got to know that Al­fanso had con­tacted Shahu be­fore start­ing his own cen­tre. Shahu had given him data on US cit­i­zens, fol­low­ing which he started the cen­tre in March this year.

Model on the run

Po­lice sources said Malad-based small-time model Arti Sax­ena, who is Al­fanso’s close friend and busi­ness part­ner, still re­mains ab­scond­ing. “Teams have been sent to dif­fer­ent states to look for her and her mother’s state­ment has also been recorded. She said her daugh­ter had not re­turned home since she went miss­ing early this month,” a source said.

Ac­cused Bipin Shahu

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