The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) busted a significant cybercrime module that was systematically targeting citizens of foreign nations, including the United States, through fraudulent call centres. This breakthrough occurred during extensive searches at 24 locations spanning Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, and Gujarat, resulting in the seizure of Rs 2.2 crore in cash, a wealth of digital evidence, property-related documents, and cryptocurrency.
The alleged mastermind, identified as Sushil Sachdeva and his associates, orchestrated elaborate schemes, such as tech support scams, to exploit unsuspecting foreigners. Through multiple call centres, the group reportedly executed “millions of calls” to defraud individuals. The CBI’s intervention is part of an ongoing investigation targeting various cybercriminals. The case was initiated on July 7, 2022, when the CBI received reports that numerous call centres in India were collaborating with a Gujarat-based VOIP company to execute extensive fraudulent calls primarily targeting U.S. citizens.
The perpetrators, posing as entities like the US Federal Grant Department, IRS, SSA, CRA, and ATO, leveraged VOIP calls. Their modus operandi involved sending robo and audio calls, impersonating officials from U.S. Federal Departments or agencies, and manipulating victims into making payments under the false pretences of fees, fines, or penalties.
The initial phase of investigations, conducted as part of the CBI’s Operation Chakra in October 2022, had already led to searches at 11 call centres and related entities. The FBI, the U.S. probe agency, collaborated with the CBI, revealing that the accused had faced indictments in the U.S. for similar fraudulent activities against American citizens. Earlier, a charge sheet was filed by the CBI against another accused.
The recent actions by the CBI stem from further investigation, exposing the involvement of a private individual, a private company, and their associates in executing large-scale fraud against foreign nationals, facilitated by the services of a Gujarat-based private company. This marks a significant step in unravelling a deeper conspiracy and ensuring accountability for those engaged in cybercriminal activities.