‘Telephone exchange’, 420 SIM cards: How Mumbai men cheated telecommunication dept of ₹30cr | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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‘Telephone exchange’, 420 SIM cards: How Mumbai men cheated telecommunication dept of ₹30cr

A Thane police team seized nine routers, two laptops, Rs15,000 in cash and five mobiles from the gang

mumbai Updated: May 19, 2017 09:27 IST
Arvind Walmiki
It is extremely expensive for people living abroad to call Indian residents, and vice versa. However, people living in the Middle East used the server of a Chinese company identified as Skyline to ensure that their location could not be traced.
It is extremely expensive for people living abroad to call Indian residents, and vice versa. However, people living in the Middle East used the server of a Chinese company identified as Skyline to ensure that their location could not be traced. (Photo for representation)

A server, a telephone exchange machine and 420 SIM cards — This is how four men in Bhiwandi helped people living in the Middle East cheat the Indian department of telecommunication (DOT) of Rs30 crore over the past two years.

It is extremely expensive for people living abroad to call Indian residents, and vice versa. However, people living in the Middle East used the server of a Chinese company identified as Skyline to ensure that their location could not be traced. When they made calls, the four men illegally operating the telephone exchange based in Bhiwandi would divert them to unsuspecting people, who were threatened or extorted, suspect cops.

While the server masked the callers’ location and ensured that they did not have to pay for making international calls, the telephone exchange machine ensured that when they called an Indian cell phone, the number that appeared onscreen was an Indian phone number.

Police arrested the four people operating the telephone exchange machine. They said the kingpin of the racket is the former employee of private mobile company. “We have traced him and will arrest him. We have raided the gang’s homes and the area they operated from,” said a police officer.

A police team, along with officials from the DOT recovered the telephone exchange machine.

“We seized 18 boxes, which had 420 SIM cards. Fake documents were submitted to acquire these SIM cards. We also seized nine routers, two laptops, Rs15,000 in cash and five mobiles worth Rs17 lakh. The four men were produced in court and remanded in police custody,” said Thane police commissioner, Parambir Singh.

“We will ask the cyber cell to help us trace the accused and find out more about these bogus SIM cards,” he added.