IRS scamster sold pen drives as a teen before setting up call centres.
Mumbai: Sagar Thakkar, the alleged mastermind of the Thane call-centre scam in which thousands of Americans were defrauded to the tune of USD 300 million, has revealed to his police interrogators that his foray into the world of crime was triggered by the failure of his father’s construction business.
His father had invested heavily in the construction business in Nalasopara but the venture was a disaster, which plunged his family into a long bout of financial crisis.
Then aged 16, Thakkar — who was arrested by the Thane Police on April 10 — had begun helping his family out financially and he got into the business of selling “pen drives”. But those close to him said it was not a ‘prestigious venture’, according to police sources.
Thakkar later began working in a call-centre and realised the potential of duping the gullible. As part of the scam, employees of certain Mira Road call centres had extorted from United States nationals in the name of that country’s tax and immigration authorities.
“At the age of 16, Thakkar was selling “pen drives” to help his family out. He used to buy the devices from the wholesale mart and sell them on the roadside,” said a police source.
The source said, “As he was child no one used to buy his wares. Also, those close to him said it was not a prestigious venture.”
The source said, “Thakkar later began working with small companies. After the trend of night shifts and call centres came to light, he realised their potential in making money by duping the gullible. During interrogation he also said that initially he used get a lot of money to provide data about US citizens.
However, he had never got into the management aspect of the call centre. He wanted to expand his business in several other countries so that he would be rich as quickly as possible. He had gone to Dubai at least thrice to set up an IT venture before the Thane police busted his scam in October last year. ”