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Distributor of mobile service firms among five held for SIM fraud in Ludhiana

Misused customer documents to make extra SIM cards and sold them for up to Rs 250 to people.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Ludhiana, Ludhiana
PUBLISHED ON DEC 01, 2020 11:19 PM IST

The police claim to have busted a gang of fraudsters, who procured SIM cards using identity proofs of unwary people and then sold mobile connections for up to Rs 250.

Police said the gang comprised retailers and distributors attached with mobile service providers and misused their access to customer information for easy money.

Among those arrested, Rahul Manchanda is a distributor, Prince is a retail agent, while Sarabjeet Singh, Jatinder Kumar and Saurav Kumar used to sell the SIM cards to people.

Rahul is from Mohalla Peeru Banda, Prince from Santokh Nagar, Sarabjeet from Bhola Colony, Jatinder Kumar from Guru Teg Bahadur Colony and Saurav Kumar from New Shivpuri. They were nabbed through various raids in the city on Monday night.

“When people approached the accused to buy a SIM card, they would issue two cards against one identity card without the customer’s knowledge. They would retain one card and sell it to other people, especially migrants, who didn’t have identity proof, for up to Rs 250,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP City 1), Deepak Pareek.

“Police tracked down the gang while investigating a case of cheating and forgery lodged in 2019. A man was arrested for stalking and harassing a woman. He used to call her from different numbers and also circulated her morphed pictures. The accused had procured SIM cards through Saurav, who misused the documents of a Rahon Road resident,” said the ADCP.

He said the gang was active since January 2019 and its members had confessed to issuing 120 SIM cards through fraudulent means.

Police are investigating whether the gang worked with online fraudsters, who duped people by luring them with lottery and investment schemes.

The accused were produced in court on Tuesday and sent to police remand. Police are expecting crucial disclosures during their questioning.

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