Police here on Tuesday claimed to have busted a racket in which mobile phone connections were being sold on fake identification proofs in the city.
Police commissioner Paramjit Singh Gill said they had arrested three persons in connection with the racket and claimed that more than 10,000 SIM cards had been issued on fake identification proofs in the past one year. “We reached the figure on interrogating the accused,” he said.
The police suspect that the SIM cards sold on fake identification proofs might have been used in criminal activities too. The commissioner said that they had arrested Jatinder alias Jatin, resident of Sant Vihar, and Amandeep Verma, resident of Dholewal Chowk, on Tuesday, and Gagandeep of Basti Jodhewal on Saturday. While 660 SIM cards have been recovered from Jatin, 140 have been recovered from Verma. Gagandeep was found in possession of 102 SIM cards that had been issued on fake identity proofs.
The commissioner said that they were likely to make more arrests in connection with the racket. For how much the mobile numbers were being sold in this manner, the commissioner said it depended on the need of the customer. “They went up till `1,000 for a connection,” he said.
HOW THEY DID IT
Police said that one of the accused, Jatin, the owner of Jatin Telecom Shop in Sarabha Nagar, also owned a photo studio. He allegedly used to keep extra copies of passport-size photographs of his customers and scan them onto his computer along with the ID proofs customers used to submit for buying mobile phone connections. He then allegedly used to use a photo-editing software for changing the address on the scanned ID, which had the photograph of another person.
Police have seized a printer, scanner, 500 fake identification proofs and 47 fake stamps of different companies from Jatin.
Role of mobile phone service providers under scanner
The police suspect that the employees of mobile companies might also be involved in the crime, as they activated the connections without any verification.
The police commissioner said when he had purchased a mobile phone number, the company had verified it three times and a representative had physically verified his address. “The question is that why how did the companies not verify addresses before activating the SIM cards?” the commissioner. “We will issue a notice to the mobile phone service providers and take action against company employees if they are involved. Selling a mobile phone connection is something that amounts to threat to national security,” he said.