Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

1,300 Indian SIM cards sent to China in last 2 years: Arrested Chinese national

On Thursday, after he managed to sneak into India through the international border at Malda district, around 500km north of Kolkata, he was spotted by the BSF, caught and interrogated
UPDATED ON JUN 12, 2021 12:15 AM IST

The Chinese national arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF) on Thursday has told officials interrogating him that at least 1,300 Indian mobile phone SIM cards were sent to China over the last two years.

“The SIM cards were used to hack accounts and commit other types of financial frauds. At least 1,300 Indian SIM cards were smuggled to China,” said SS Guleria, DIG BSF (South Bengal Frontier), adding that the accused's statements need to be verified.

It is not clear, for instance, how they managed to procure such a large number of SIM cards in the first place. Interrogation also revealed that Junwe’s associates used to hide the SIM cards in their undergarments to smuggle them out of India.

Han Junwe, a resident of Hubei in China, was arrested by the BSF when he was trying to enter the country through the Indo-Bangla border in Malda district on Thursday. One of his associates, Sun Jiang, was arrested by the UP police earlier this year.

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Sun Jiang named him as an accomplice during his interrogation by the UP police and the process to issue a Blue notice was initiated. A Blue Notice is issued to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a crime.

Han Junwe told his interrogators soon after his arrest that his request for an Indian visa was rejected after Sun Jiang’s arrest, leaving him with no option but to try to enter India either via Bangladesh or Nepal.

In his initial interrogation, Han Junwe also told BSF officers that he owns a hotel in Gurugram and has been to India at least four times since 2010. While some of the hotel staffers are Chinese, some Indian nationals have also been employed at the hotel, he said, according to the police.

The BSF has handed over the case to the West Bengal Police. A four-member team of the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police reached Malda on Friday morning to interrogate the accused and take over the case.

"It is here that the role of specialised agencies like the ATS and NIA comes into play. The electronic gadgets need to be scanned as a lot of information could be hidden in them," said a senior BSF official.

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