Breaking News Delhi HC rejects advance bail plea of alleged kingpin...

Delhi HC rejects advance bail plea of alleged kingpin of fake call centre

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New Delhi, Jun 5 (ILNS): The Delhi High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail plea of a man alleged to be the kingpin of a fake call centre, which had scammed several people in the US.

The people cheated through VOIP calls believed they were doing money transactions through crypto-currency and Zelle account. The employees were paid in cash to avoid a money trail.

Justice Mukta Gupta, in her dismissal of the plea, relied on facts and evidences submitted by the APP.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted before the Court that the accused was not concerned with the so-called fake call centre being run. The petitioner clarified that he was working with M/s Deans Infratech Pvt Ltd, which has its offices in Delhi and Mumbai, and are engaged in road construction business, a fact verified by the investigating officer.

The petitioner further submitted that he was falsely implicated in this case. The so-called employees of the call centre were all granted regular bail without any Police remand. All the computers, datas and phones required for investigation, have already been recovered and no recovery is required to be made. So, he can be granted the bail, added the Counsel for the petitioner.

He further said that as per the verdict of Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar vs the state of Bihar & Anr (2014) 8 SCC 273, the petitioner was required to be given a notice under Section 41-A of CrPC.

He also submitted that the only evidence against him was the disclosure statements of the co-accused persons, which are not admissible in evidence and cannot be relied upon to deny anticipatory bail.

Opposing aforementioned contentions, the Assistant Public Prosecutor on behalf of the State submitted before the Court that the petitioner is one of the main accused who was running the centre, and it is evident from the investigation carried out from the co-accused who were found working at the said centre.

The money transaction was done by the petitioner through crypto currency and Zelle account and to overcome trail of the money, call centre employees were paid the salary in cash. The co-accused were taking instructions from the petitioner and were duly reporting to him.

The FIR was registered under Sections 419/420/120-B/34 IPC and Section 66-C/66-D of the Information Technology Act, 2000 after a secret information was received on 25th March, 2021 in respect of an organized gang of cyber criminals who were posing themselves to be Amazon Tech supporters through VOIP calls over phone and engaging in cheating USA based victims from 5/8, Industrial Area, Kirti Nagar, West Delhi.

Fifteen accused were arrested and it was revealed that the offence was committed in a set pattern starting with a VICI Dial software generated pre-recorded threatening robo-call claiming to be from Amazon, being sent to victim and telling the recipient US resident that suspicious transactions have taken place in their Amazon account and thereafter deceitfully persuading the victims to connect with them via Remote Access Software for resolving that issue.

The victim’s computer/ mobile remote access was connected to the software like Quick Support, AnyDesk, etc, in the fictitious name of connecting victim to secure Amazon server. Thereafter the victim was made to purchase e-Gift cards (X-Box, Gpay) through their Amazon account linked Credit/Debit cards claiming that to be dummy transaction and part of verification process, thereby persuading the victim to login into their internet banking for getting Amazon refund amount resulting in the accused getting the information regarding victim’s banking credentials and making them transfer amount to temporary Zelle accounts, crypto-currency wallets of the accused.

E-mail was then sent to the victim that they had been successfully granted refund amount, finally sending the victim to store/supermarket for purchasing gift pack (Target, Nike, Walmart, Google Play, Best Buy etc.) and conveying the e-gift card numbers to the accused as part of refund process thereby exploiting the victim financially and once the victim could not be further duped the further calls were hung up.

Since the accused connected with the victim through spoofed VOIP numbers, the victim could neither call back nor were the numbers traced.

From the spot, 23 computers, Internet distribution switch, Internet Routers, mobile phones, several pages of hand-written cheating script booklet about the communication to be made to the victims for cheating, telecommunication softwares, VOIP (Internet) calling dialers, incriminating data in computers and mobile phones were recovered at the instance of the 15 accused and arrested on March 26, 2021.

The applicant also stated that he was suffering from a medical ailment, but failed to provide any document that could prove he was suffering from any co-morbidity, which was likely to affect him due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After going through all the facts and submissions made by both the parties, the Court dismissed the bail application. ILNS\KR\SJ\RJ

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