Representational image.
Representational image.

Bengaluru police arrests 2 men for operating illegal telephone exchanges

The Army’s eastern command first flagged the matter. It was passed on to the southern command to investigate whether there was an attempt to target the Army’s telephone exchanges
By Arun Dev
UPDATED ON JUN 10, 2021 02:57 PM IST

The Bengaluru police have arrested two men for operating six illegal telephone exchanges in the city, where they would allegedly convert international calls for their customers into local calls and charge them a fraction of what they would need to pay for making them legally.

The two have been identified as Ibrahim Pullatti, 36, from Kerala’s Malappuram, and V Gautam, 27, who is from Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur. They were arrested on Monday based on the inputs from military intelligence.

A police officer said they have seized over 900 subscriber identification module (SIM) cards and a device, which could operate 32 of them at a time, from the two. “They were converting international calls into local calls, bypassing the authorised routers. This not only caused a loss to telecom companies, but it was also a threat to the national security,” said joint police commissioner Sandeep Patil.

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Six SIM boxes the two allegedly installed at separate locations have been seized. An investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the customers included small firms and individuals, who would make international calls daily as part of their business. “The accused charged 1 per pulse rate against 10 legal charges. They would make anywhere between 10-15 lakh monthly...”

A second officer said the Army’s eastern command first flagged the matter. It was passed on to the southern command to investigate whether there was an attempt to target the Army’s telephone exchanges.

Police did not comment on the Army’s internal investigation.

The illegal exchanges were traced to Bengaluru’s BTM Layout after the matter was investigated.

Police were also probing money laundering charges against Pullatti.

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