The mobile number portability facility can be misused by criminals to make money.
The sinister modus operandi came to light when the crime branch and Dongri police station, in a joint operation, busted a racket operating from a one-room tenement in Bhendi Bazaar on Thursday. The arrested accused, Mohammad Asim Razaak Turk, 24, forged personal identification documents of genuine customers to make SIM cards.
Rakesh Sharma, senior inspector, crime branch, said that acting on a tip-off, they raided the second-floor room at Sayad Manzil in Dongri. A search of the room resulted in confiscation of 5,000 SIM cards of several well-known service providers, 2 laptops, 4 mobile phones and Rs36,000. Nearly 320 original identification of documents of SIM card applicants, along with hundreds of photocopied documents, too were found.
“Though Turk is uneducated, he is computer-savvy,” said Sharma claiming that he made not less than Rs5-6 lakh every month. He was earlier arrested and his mobile repair shop at Chakla street in Bhendi Bazaar area was sealed for forgery. “Following the seizure of his shop, he ran his business from the Dongri tenement. Prior to that, he was arrested by the Tardeo police in a forgery case and released on Rs15,000 surety,” said Sharma.
Turk’s accomplice is absconding though some SIM card retailers, distributers, marketing executives who too were active in the racket are likely to be rounded up for investigation. “We have just begun our probe. Many people are under the scanner. We will seek clarification from the service providers on their customer identification mechanism,” said Sharma.