The use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) aided telephonic communication—the internet backed global telecommunication facility —no longer remains the sole privilege of Ajmal Amir Kasab and his handlers from Pak-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.
The technology seems to be popular with one of Mumbai's underworld don, who used it to direct his Mumbai operations without revealing his location.
Investigations of the murder of lawyer Shahid Azmi, shot dead at his Kurla office on February 11, have revealed that instructions to the assassins had been given by underworld don Bharat Nepali over the internet telephone or VoIP.
The police have arrested three of Azmi's killers. Police claim that Nepali had contracted the killers for Rs 1 lakh.
Nepali issued directions to the main shooter, Devendra Jagtap alias DJ over the telephone almost a fortnight before the killing.
Following that, Jagtap received a series of calls from Nepali, both before (while recceing and plotting) and after the execution of the task. Similar calls were made to Vinod Vichare, who had allegedly collected the cash and weapons required for the killing from an unidentified man at Vidya Vihar railway station, six days before the incident.
The police have confiscated five mobile phones on which calls were received from Nepali.
A highly placed source in the crime branch told HT on Wednesday that the analysis of the call records (from the confiscated phones) took the investigators by surprise.
The sleuths were looking for a number that could be traced to Nepali's location, at least the country where he is holed up.
Instead, the records showed calls from 13-14 digit numbers. Probing further, police learned that every call was made from different international locations.
The investigators then found that the numbers belonged to internet servers and not any mobile or land telephone.
Senior crime branch officers said that Nepali opted for VoIP as he wanted to ensure that his location was not revealed.