2 arrested for running international telephone exchange racket in Bengaluru
Joint operation conducted by Military Intelligence and Anti-Terrorist Cell of CCB
In a joint operation carried out by Military Intelligence sleuths and Anti-Terrorist Cell officials of the Central Crime Branch, the police arrested two men on Wednesday for allegedly running an international telephone exchange scam from BTM Layout. The police suspect that the duo were using it for anti-national activities but refused to give more details saying that investigations are ongoing.
The team of officials raided six places and recovered 30 SIM boxes containing 960 SIM cards at different locations. “The accused had rented many places to install the SIM boxes. They used them to receive international calls, bypass telephone routers, and convert them into local calls,” said a police officer.
A SIM box allows users to route international calls through the internet using VoIP and bypass the GSM connection to reach the recipient. With this, an international call is made to look like a local call. A SIM box can hold multiple SIM cards from different service providers and can be installed in various locations.
Initial investigations have revealed that Ibrahim is part of an international network based in Dubai and is involved in hawala rackets. “Ibrahim worked in Dubai for many years to learn about SIM box operations. He returned to Bengaluru to set up and run the business on behalf of the network.” said the police officer, adding that the duo had produced hundreds of SIMs on fake IDs.
Through this illegal exchange, the duo raked in ₹10-₹15 lakh per month. Ibrahim and Goutham would take home a salary of ₹50,000 -₹70,000 per month.
The accused charged their customers ₹1 per pulse rate against ₹10 of the international pulse rate and make a huge amount of profit. Their customers are individual and small companies that have to make long international calls. “Such calls not only incur huge revenue loss to the state exchanger but can also be used for anti-national activities,” a senior police officer said .
Ibrahim allegedly confessed that he sourced ID proofs for the SIM cards using the documents submitted by people, mainly migrant labourers, to the local SIM dealer when they were applying for a phone connection.
The police have booked the duo under various sections of Information Technology Act and Indian Telegraph Act and taken them into custody to probe their network further.