More than 500 employees across several call centres in Maharashtra’s Thane district were detained by police late on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding United States citizens, PTI reported. Police officials said the raids to detain the employees from the call centres on Mira Road were carried out by over 200 police personnel.

The employees had posed as US tax officials and would target loan defaulters, according to Hindustan Times. The defaulters were asked to divulge their financial and bank details and were threatened with legal action if they did not do so, the report said. The call centre employees would then siphon off money from their accounts. Officials said that more than Rs 1 crore was stolen by them on a daily basis.

Police are also investigating the role of agents based in the US who were given a 30% commission for every successful scam. A gang based in Ahmedabad is suspected to be behind the operation. Callers were given a daily target to achieve and the jobs themselves were reportedly advertised through stickers on local trains. Superintendent of Police for Thane (Rural) Dr Mahesh Patil said cases against the accused will be registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Information Technology Act, 2000.

(The image used is representative)