New Delhi, Apr 2 (ILNS) A Delhi Court has recently denied bail to a man allegedly involved in a fake call centre racket, which duped the US citizens, after observing that he “made a conscious choice to earn his livelihood by resorting to illegal means”.
“The accused made a conscious choice to earn his livelihood by resorting to illegal means. The investigation is at an initial stage and the co-accused are reported to be absconding,” said Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana, while dismissing the bail application filed by one Nikhil Kumar.
According to the prosecution, the accused indulged in cheating gullible citizens of America by running a fake call centre of IOS (Apple) Technical Support with the help of their employees, including Nikhil, who used to work as a tele-caller or agency on a fixed minimum salary, added with call earning based incentive.
The prosecution further told the court that the accused used to pose themselves as representatives of iOS Apple and demanded minimum 50 dollars from each victim for technical support.
“They (accused) used to make illegal VOIP calls using X-Lite software to the victim. As it was a fake call centre, the accused could not accept the money transferred directly to their account, so they used to insist for prepaid Google Play gift card, Amazon gift cards and cash cards,” Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Irfan Ahmed told the court.
“The accused used to direct the victims to purchase gift cards and share its 16-digit code to them. When the accused would get the gift card code, the accused used to get it illegally exchanged in rupees by an agent called ‘Blocker’,” Ahmed further told the court.
ASJ Rana, while dismissing the petition, noted that Nikhil was part of a criminal syndicate, which is involved in cheating gullible citizens overseas. The modus operandi of the crime suggested meticulous planning and deft execution.
“Such incidents cast a dent upon the image of the entire nation and merely because applicant/accused was an employee, that would not absolve him from his liabilities,” the court said in its order.
Nikhil Kumar had moved the court seeking bail on that ground that he has no role to play in the commission of the alleged offence as the he was newly appointed employee in the alleged call centre. It was argued by his Counsel, Advocate Sehdev Singh that he has not received any pecuniary benefit from the alleged transactions.
“Accused is having clean antecedents and he is languishing in Judicial Custody since March 18, 2021. It is thus prayed that he may be released on bail,” Singh argued on behalf of Nikhil.
The police, through APP Ahmed, informed the court that 16 accused have been arrested till date, including four owners of the call centre. It and the computer system used by the applicant (Nikhil Kumar) was seized and was found to contains record of calls made to the US citizens.
“Hard disk and a script has been recovered from his possession along with one mobile phone, in which data related to the present case was saved,” APP Ahmed submitted on behalf of the police, opposing the bail plea.
The prosecution also argued that the petitioner accused was working as an agent/caller on monthly salary of Rs 13,000, plus incentives. ILNS/ANB/SNG/RJ