The Nehru Nagar police have busted a fake subscriber-identification-module (SIM) card racket with the arrest of three people earlier this week , while another accused is still at large. The four accused would use bogus documents for activating SIM cards to complete their sale targets, police said. The accused include employees of two telephone network companies who would get a commission from the shop owners.
According to the police, the four accused have been identified as Imran Mohommad Shafiq, 26, owner of a mobile phone shop in Kurla, Mohommad Sameer Shafiq, 29, owner of a shop in Govandi and Bhavesh Patil, 32, territory manager for a telephone network company while the fourth accused, Miraj Ahmad Khan, 28, an employee of another telephone network company, managed to escape.
Senior police inspector Pramod Koparde from Nehru Nagar police station said, “ We got to know from a credible source that Imran procured a fake SIM card for a person based in Parbhani. As Parbhani has a history of alleged terror modules operating from there, we couldn’t let go of the information. We raided his shop and recovered more than 200 such SIM cards.”
The police then contacted the person in Parbhani and learnt that he had never asked for a SIM card. The gang had made a fake voter identity card in his name, used a computer photoshop software and applied for the SIM card, police said.
Koparde said, “Imran revealed the role of Sameer, a shop owner in Govandi who would get the fake documents and hand it over to Imran. Later, both would apply for SIM cards. The roles of two telephone network company employees in the racket were later revealed. Patil, a territory manager, would make fake voter identity cards for them. Patil would use a photo and someone else’s address and create a fake identity card.”
Officials had detained the other employee, Khan, for questioning, but after he was released, he escaped from the city, police said.
Further investigations revealed that three months after a SIM card was activated, they would port the number to another network to complete their sale targets for that network company.
“We have recovered more than 150 fake voter identity cards from Patil. The accused said the constant pressure of meeting their sale targets forced them to activate SIM cards through bogus documents,” said Koparde.
How it was done
Bhavesh Patil, 32, territory manager for a telephone network company, saves a picture from a social networking site and picks up a random address from the Internet. He later makes a fake voter identity card using the information
Patil then hands the fake identity cards to the mobile phone shop owners, Imran and Sameer
They then apply for the SIM cards using fake address proofs and get it activated
Police start their investigation, assuming terrorism links .
Three months after a SIM card is activated, they port the number to another network to complete their sale targets for that network company
The bogus SIM card racket attracts the following charges
Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged), 473 (making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable otherwise) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code