In 2017, a Fake call centre racket was busted by the state police, for duping thousands of unsuspecting international clients including citizens from the United States and the UK.
The opposition Congress on Friday accused the Conrad K Sangma-led government of allegedly tampering with the process of investigation into the fake US’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) call centre racket by transferring two police officers.
This was following raids conducted at the IFA Enterprise Call Centre, which was operating from the premises of SS NetCom, Dhankheti, Shillong.
Cases in this connection were registered as Laitumkhrah Ps C/No.134(8)17 u/s 120(B)/385/419/420/468/34 IPC and Laitumkhrah Ps C/No.135(8)17 u/s 120(B)/385/419/420/468/34.
Addressing media persons, Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Mukul Sangma alleged that while the case was being investigated, two officers concerned were being transferred.
He also referred to a letter written by then East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police, Davis NR Marak to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (ER) on February 1, 2019 requesting him to take up with PHQ for retaining of Inspector MN Khan and UBSI Pintu Das in the Laitumkhrah police station.
The letter had stated: “The transfer and posting of Inspector MN Khan and UBSI Pintu Das have also created a fear psychosis among the officers of this District since the officers were handling the high profile cases and all are having a strong feeling that the transfer could have been because of this reason.”
Mukul said this is because of the particular case related to an incident that has happened in the premises of the SS NetCom, which is owned by the incumbent chief minister, Conrad K Sangma, his brother power minister, James K Sangma, and their family members.
“They have tampered upon the whole process of investigation and they tried to force the police to submit incomplete charge-sheet in the court without completing the process of investigation, without going through proper investigation to verify what are those available datas and information in the seized laptops and gadgets and other transcripts…,” he said.
The former chief minister further added, “Therefore, it is a dangerous case not only of its international ramification but also because it involves the training of our youth to become criminals and engage in criminal activities.”
He alleged that the SS NetCom had recruited some of the job seekers for IT-enabled services from Shillong, Meghalaya, and North East, who were then sent for training in Ahmedabad by IFA Enterprise Call Centre.
“Now what is the thing that was alleged to be happening is that the bulk SMSes to the targeted citizens of the united states of America particularly the non-resident Indians and they are reminded of their discrepancies in respect of their tax return and relevant penal actions which can be proceeded against them as per the law and then they were asked to call a number of people who are trained to receive the call and impersonate as IRS official.
The people were trained to be capable of impersonating IRS officials,” he said.
Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition also demanded the state government to immediately call the meeting of the State Security Commission (SSC).
“I want the government to immediately call the meeting of the SSC and give an answer for all this transfer and posting of the police to derail the whole process of investigation and also to destroy evidence. It is very dangerous as if any evidence is destroyed, they will be held responsible and they will be required to have proceeded again under the relevant law for the destruction of evidence,” he said.
Mukul also asserted that since the case has got international ramification and it goes beyond the border of Meghalaya, it cannot be a subject dealt with only by the state police, it has to go beyond as India should not be used as a hub for these kinds of criminal activities.
Asked, the former chief minister admitted that the case was registered during his time and however said, “I did not interfere because we believe in our judiciary and in our administration of justice. Any process of law must not be interfered upon in order to ensure that law is allowed to take its own course.”