MUMBAI: The Mumbai Police have busted a Bihar-based illegal call centre whose operators duped people in the name of coronavirus, and arrested five persons, one of them a BTech graduate, and detained a minor who were part of the racket, an official said on Tuesday.
The cyber cell of the Mumbai police's crime branch unearthed the racket during an investigation into a complaint lodged by a city resident who was cheated, he said.
Those apprehended were allegedly running the fake call centre and duping people by using the COVID-19 pandemic as bait, the official said.
The accused suspected to have cheated at least 210 people across the country till now, he said.
According to the official, the arrested accused were identifed as Dharmajay Kumar, Dhananjay Kumar, Shrawan Paswan, Nitish Kumar and Suman Kumar, while their sixth accomplice was a minor (age not disclosed) who has been detained.
Of them, one was a BTech graduate, while one had BEd degree, he said.
The police traced the gang's 32 bank accounts, where Rs 60 lakh worth of transactions had taken place, and also seized 100 SIM cards procured from Kolkata, the official added.
Explaining the modus operandi of the gang, the official said, its members circulate their phone numbers of different social media platforms to lure unsuspecting people.
On June 16, the cyber police station at Bandra Kurla Complex here received a complaint where a man was duped while ordering online Remdesivir, an antiviral drug used to treat severe COVID-19 patients, he said.
During the investigation, the crime branch found the racket was linked to a call centre in Bihar Sharif, the headquarters of Nalanda district in Bihar, the official said.
These people had been involved in duping people since over a year and used people's fear and crisis for their own monetary benefit, he said.