The Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai crime branch has arrested a 30-year-old man for his alleged involvement in duping many foreign nationals including Americans and Canadians. The crime branch officers claimed that Nishant Shirsikar is a key accused in the racket which has targeted hundreds of the US and Canada-based citizens and defrauded them in millions of dollars.
Acting on specific information of inspector Sachin Vaze, Shirsikar was held from his residence in Evershine Nagar in Malad (West) with unaccounted cash worth Rs 40 lakh and four gold biscuits weighing 200 gms from him. A small quantity of Ganja was recovered from his possession. A cheating case and NDPS case were registered against him at the Bangur Nagar police station.
According to the crime branch's Deputy Commissioner of Police Nandakumar Thakur, "During interrogation, it was revealed that the accused is a part of an international racket who dupes foreign nationals in United State of America and Canada. His associates call the foreign nationals by posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service or US citizenship and immigration services. The accused then threaten the foreign nationals with arrest, imprisonment, fines or with deportation if they failed to pay to money owed to the government. Those who agreed to pay were later made to pay by gift card, he added.
Shirsikar allegedly provided foreign national's data to his associates and also helped in training people about how to dupe the foreign nations and in setting up the call centres. He was operating for almost five years, said the officer.
Around 200 people are associated with the accused and they operate individually or as a part of call centres from various cities in India, said the officer.