India arrests suspected mastermind in $300M call center scam

– Indian police said they arrested a suspected mastermind behind a $300 million call center scam that targeted Americans.

Indian police said they arrested Sagar Thakkar, 24, a suspected mastermind behind a $300 million call center scam that targeted Americans. Pictured: An Indian employee works at Gecis, a call center based in Gurgaon, Harayana, about 20 miles south-west from New Delhi, India, in this file picture dated May 2006. Photo by Money Sharma/EPA
Indian police said they arrested Sagar Thakkar, 24, a suspected mastermind behind a $300 million call center scam that targeted Americans. Pictured: An Indian employee works at Gecis, a call center based in Gurgaon, Harayana, about 20 miles south-west from New Delhi, India, in this file picture dated May 2006. Photo by Money Sharma/EPA

Sagar Thakkar, 24, also known as Shaggy, was arrested late Friday after he arrived at Mumbai airport from Dubai. Officials said he ran dozens of India-based call centers since 2013 and trained employees to target some 15,000 U.S. citizens by posing as Internal Revenue Service employees. The callers allegedly threatened the victims with legal action if they were not given access to bank accounts for debts that didn’t exist, local news reported.

In October, the Justice Department charge 61people in India and the United States in connection to the scheme. Thakkar allegedly fled the country at the time.

By Amy R. Connolly