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NOIDA :

With the arrest of 16 people, the Noida police on Thursday claimed to have busted a fake call centre which, among others, had duped a retired official of 1.62 crore on the pretext of getting him 26 lakh of an insurance policy back.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Noida) Ranvijay Singh said the fake call centre was located in the Bhopura area of the adjoining Ghaziabad district.

Among those arrested are the gang's kingpin and 10 women, who worked at the fake call centre, Singh said, adding that the case has been solved by the Noida Cyber Cell and Sector 113 police station officials.

"On May 21, a retired NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) official approached the Sector 113 police station with a complaint that he has been duped of 1.62 crore by some people over a period of time," Singh said.

"He had provided us with whatever documents and evidence he had related to the episode, after which a case was lodged and we took up the investigation. We have successfully busted a gang involved in this fraud and arrested 16 people," the police officer told reporters here.

Singh said the gang was operating from Bhopura in the adjoining Ghaziabad district. The gang members had identified themselves as people linked to a bank insurance agency and duped the complainant, who had got a life insurance policy from the HDFC bank six-seven years ago.

"The complainant had paid only one instalment for that policy and not any follow-up instalments. The gang had somehow procured the insurance data and called up the complainant, telling him that 26 lakh are in his account, which can be transferred back to him.

"Over a period of time, the gang duped the complainant of 1.62 crore in installments of 1 lakh or 2 lakh in the name of getting him his 26 lakh back," Singh said.

The kingpin of the gang, Sonu Kumar, has been arrested. For this particular case, the accused had appointed his aide Neelesh, who had duped the retired NTPC official, the additional DCP said.

"Sixteen people, including 10 women, have been arrested. All of them had some role to play in the fraud and were aware of what they were doing," he said.

The gang had opened the fake call centre and using fake sim cards cheated people by assuring them recovery of money in lieu of the policy whose installment had not deposited and other benefits, the police said.

An FIR has been lodged at the Noida Sector 113 police station under Indian Penal Code section 420 (cheating) and under provisions of the Information Technology Act against the accused, the police said.

The police have recovered 16 mobile phones, one laptop and 1.50 lakh cash from the possession of the gang, the police added.

Those arrested have been identified as Sonu Kumar, the gang's kingpin, Rohit Kataria, Ashwani Kumar, Rahul Singh, Nilesh Saxena, Ajay Kumar, Sandhya Kumar, Chanchal, Sanjana Bajpayee,, Shruti Kumar, Anjali, Mohini Singh, Kesar Saxena, Chanchal Gupta, Priyanka and Barkha Singh, the police said.

Among those arrested, most are residents of Ghaziabad, while some are from Delhi and Faridabad also, the police added.

Additional DCP Singh said the gang is understood to have been operating for the last two years but a detailed background check on its activities is underway.

The police have also got to know that some gang members had purchased properties with the money duped from various people and details of all such assets and bank accounts are also being checked, he added.

The Noida police, meanwhile, urged the general public to be cautious during online activities and during telecommunications especially with unknown callers who talk to people on the pretext of providing them finance-related assistance or benefits. PTI KIS RC CK

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