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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Man held for call centre 'scam'
A call centre worker in Bangalore, southern India
Indian call centres say they are as good as any
Police in India have arrested a man accused of selling confidential bank data of customers in Britain to two undercover journalists.

Sushanto Chandok was arrested in Calcutta and has been remanded in police custody for eight days.

Police say he is one of two men shown in a recent documentary in the UK selling passport and credit card details of thousands of bank customers.

Mr Chandok's lawyer says his client is completely innocent.

He has "committed no crime to deserve police custody", the lawyer said of Mr Chandok, who appeared in court in Calcutta on Thursday.

Vested interests?

The documentary was shown by Channel 4 last week.

Many in India feel the country is deliberately being projected as an unsafe destination for business process outsourcing by vested interests.

But foreign call centres are a sensitive issue in the UK, where many such jobs have been outsourced abroad - mainly to India.

Call centre ad
Thousands of call centre jobs have been created in India

Channel 4 said the programme, The Data Theft Scandal, was an investigation of "the call centre security failures which allow personal financial details to be stolen and illegally traded".

Kiran Karnik, president of India's National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), responded by saying: "We take any allegation of a breach in our security extremely seriously.

"Security is a number one priority and under no circumstances will we allow this to be compromised."

'Small number'

In June, police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore arrested an HSBC employee in connection with alleged financial wrongdoing.

Nadeem Kashmiri, a data operator, was charged with hacking into the computer system which allegedly led to money being stolen from customer accounts.

HSBC said funds were taken from a "small number" of customers in UK.

The worker is said to have supplied customer data to fraudsters, leading to a total of 233,000 being taken.

The incident followed dozens of cases where banks and other financial institutions have lost customer details - whether through negligence or criminal activities - both in the UK and around the world.


SEE ALSO
Call centre 'scam' details sought
04 Oct 06 |  South Asia
Man held in HSBC India scam probe
28 Jun 06 |  Business
How secure are India's call centres?
24 Jun 05 |  South Asia
Outsourcing exposes firms to fraud
16 Jun 05 |  Business
Fear over India call centre fraud
05 Apr 04 |  Business

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