Four persons involved in selling pre-activated SIM cards, which were procured by submitting forged documents, were arrested on Friday.
While a pre-paid SIM card gets activated 8-12 hours after submitting documents, the accused ensured that those without any documents got SIM cards that were already activated and ready to use. The police seized 3,826 pre-activated SIM cards from the accused, in addition to Rs1 lakh cash and scanners.
"Those arrested include area manager of a telecom company Manoj Jangid, mobile shop owner Vikas Kothari, and two distributors Kailash Gurnani and Sunil Sharma. We are on the lookout for Dharamdeep Dang, owner of Salute hospitality, who is absconding," said Vishwas Nagre Patil, additional commissioner of police (west region).
Explaining the modus operandi, police inspector Prakash Patil said that Kothari, the owner of a mobile store in Khar, along with Gurnani and Sharma would make duplicates of the genuine identity proof that customers would submit to them.
"They would take photocopies of originals and replace the photograph or the name of the actual customer with a fake one. They would make several copies of such fake documents, which would then be passed on to Jangid," Patil said.
"Jangid, who was working as area manager of Videocon, would allegedly authorise SIM cards to be issued in exchange of fake documents," added police inspector G Ganore.
In this manner, the accused had managed to get several thousand pre-activated SIM cards that were kept in Kothari's Khar shop.
An officer added, "This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several such shops across the city that not only give cards without verifying details, but also submit fake documents to procure SIM cards."
"We will also be writing to the department of telecommunications (DoT) in Delhi to find out who is responsible for verifying the authenticity of documents and how did the shopkeepers in this case manage to get the cards pre-activated," added Patil. The accused were arrested for forgery and produced before the local court that remanded them to police custody till September 21.