ATS unearths fake SIM card racket, nabs seven in Hardoi, Sitapur | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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ATS unearths fake SIM card racket, nabs seven in Hardoi, Sitapur

An ATS official said five people – identified as Vikas Jaiswal, Rohit Kumar, Sujit Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Amit Kumar – were arrested from Sitapur and 15,444 SIM cards, five laptops, and 37 phones were recovered from them.

lucknow Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:06 IST
HT Correspondent
Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad
The ATS recovered at least 48,467 SIM cards, 95 mobile handsets, laptops and computers.(For representation)

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) unearthed a racket involved in the sale and online recharge of SIM cards issued on forged identity and arrested seven people from Sitapur and Hardoi districts on Wednesday night.

The ATS recovered at least 48,467 SIM cards, 95 mobile handsets, laptops, computers, GPRS modem blocks used for online SMS recharges, thousands of fake identity proofs and duly filled customer applications forms. 

The ATS officials suspect the racketeers are part of the nationwide network of illegal SIM cards. They said the racketeers’ collusion with criminal gangs and terror groups could not be ruled out. They said the involvement of telecom companies and its distributors was being suspected in the racket. 

The modus operandi
  • Illegal telephone exchanges route international calls by displaying local numbers on the mobile handsets of the receivers. The racketeers transfer calls from the internet to SIM boxes through mobile applications and servers in foreign locations. The SIM boxes display local numbers instead of foreign numbers in the source of call origin.

An ATS official said five people – identified as Vikas Jaiswal, Rohit Kumar, Sujit Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Amit Kumar – were arrested from Sitapur and 15,444 SIM cards, five laptops, and 37 phones were recovered from them. “We arrested another accused, Arun Kumar Singh, from Sadna area of Sitapur and recovered 32,093 SIM cards, 37 mobile handsets, one laptop and hundreds of identity proofs from his place,” he added. 

The ATS also nabbed Sushil Kumar Singh from Baghauli area of Hardoi and recovered 930 SIM cards, 21 mobile handsets, 13 GPRS modem block recharge and 48 fake stamps of government officials. He said the arrested people were being interrogated and the ATS was trying to get information about the people who used to purchase SIM cards from them. 

He said the role of telecom companies and its distributors was also being investigated as without their involvement it was not possible for the racketeers to procure thousands of SIM cards and identity proofs. 

The ATS officer said Sitapur and Hardoi were turning out to be the hub of telecom frauds. Earlier, a key operator of illegal telephone exchange, Gulshan Sen, was arrested from Delhi after which 11 of his accomplices were nabbed from Lucknow, Sitapur and Hardoi on January 25, the official said. 

Sen, who was technical head at FIIT-JEE coaching centre in Delhi, allegedly operated multiple illegal telephone exchanges in different parts of the state with the help of SIM boxes. The scanning of internet server installed at Sen’s office in Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh centre of FIIT-JEE revealed he was running illegal exchanges. 

 ATS had also recovered a computer and multiple telecom and communication devices from Sen’s Delhi residence in Mahrauli. The officials suspect Sen’s links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).