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Gujarat: 2 held for operating illegal telphone network

According to ATS officials, Saiyyad was flouting the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) guidelines by hiding the identity of the international ISD callers by converting it into local GSM calls.

Calls rerouted through the SIM box will be masked with a local number. Even a single SIM box is capable of routing nthousands of international calls on a daily basis.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested two persons and busted an illegal telephone network in Ahmedabad and Mumbai where international calls from foreign based operatives were being routed into local mobile networks using a “simbox/simbank”.

According to police, a raid was conducted at Saqib Apartment in Juhapura area of Ahmedabad by a team of Gujarat ATS where the accused Mohammad Shahid Saiyyad, a native of Junagadh, was allegedly held in possession of several sim cards, sim box/simbank, WiFi routers and network switches along with laptops and cellphones.

According to ATS officials, Saiyyad was flouting the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) guidelines by hiding the identity of the international ISD callers by converting it into local GSM calls.

A SIM box technology is used to route international calls as local calls. Each box has 32 GSM SIM cards. Using this technology, the box operator is able to convert VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls to local GSM networks and bypass international rates charged by local mobile network operators and also pose a significant national security risk.

Calls rerouted through the SIM box will be masked with a local number. Even a single SIM box is capable of routing nthousands of international calls on a daily basis.

“Saiyyad was in constant touch with his other accomplices Najib in Bahrain, Sohail in Goa and Amit in Pune where he was converting VoIP calls to GSM local calls. This not only results in loss of revenue for the DoT but also possess national security risk. Saiyyad also told us that his another accomplice Sajjad Saiyyad who lives in an apartment in Meera road of Mumbai in Maharashtra has been doing the same,” said a senior Gujarat ATS official.

“An ATS team was then sent to Mumbai and Sajjad was found in possession of several hundred sim cards, routers, SIMboxes and other gadgets. In total, we have seized 254 SIMcards, seven SIMboxes, two laptops, several cellphones and other gadgets from both the accused. They have been booked under IPC 420 for fraud, 120b for criminal conspiracy and sections of the information technology amendment act, Indian Wireless Telegraph Act and Indian Telegraph act,” the official added.

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