Officers of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) have arrested two people who were allegedly operating an illegal telephone exchange at Antop Hill by diverting internet generated overseas VoIP calls to local Indian numbers, and allegedly duping cellular service providing companies and the government of India of Rs 1.70 crore.
What has shocked the police is that the modus operandi the accused used helped them keep the telephonic conversations out of the radar of various government authorities, thereby posing a potential threat to the country’s internal security.
Those arrested have been identified as Chandan Vijay Singh alias Dabalu, 32, and Shaikh Shahabuddin Balki alias Ayan, 21, both Wadala (East) residents. Shaikh’s brother Faisal is a wanted accused in the case. Police investigations so far have found that the Shaikh brothers had visited Qatar where they learnt about illegally diverting international internet phone calls and pocketing the money from call receivers, crime branch sources said.
The matter came to the fore after Vodafone found that some internationals calls coming to their Mumbai circle were being illegally diverted to local phone numbers. Vodafone’s nodal officer Changdev Godse informed the authorities concerned following which Amitkumar Chauhan and Sanjiv Rajoriya from the Enforcement Resources and Monitoring Cell (TERM) along with crime branch officials raided one Prachi Mobile Shop at Antop Hill on Thursday and seized two Simbox, a laptop, router, antenna and 126 SIM cards.
The police are trying to find out whom the accused used to provide the international internet calls as local calls and how the money transaction took place between them.