The Delhi Police has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asking it to impose a penalty of Rs 1 crore on two telecom service providers, after police recovered as many as 250 prepaid SIM cards obtained via fake documents.
The letter comes after the arrest of Ankush Khandelwal from Rohini on December 30 by the Crime Branch. Police recovered 205 pre-activated SIM cards, 28 customer identification forms and various forged voter ID cards from his possession.
“A letter was sent to TRAI asking it to penalise telecom service providers for not having a robust framework in terms of verification of customers. As of now, we have been imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 on anyone with a SIM acquired with fake papers. In the future, we may also ask that the penalty amount be increased,” said a senior crime branch officer.
JCP (Crime) Ravindra Yadav, Crime confirmed that the letter had been sent. He added that the crime branch is contemplating to write to TRAI again after they arrested the second accused in the case.
On Monday, police said they arrested Mohit Gupta, who owns a store, Connection Planet, in East Delhi’s Shakarpur area.
Yadav said Gupta used to make fake ID cards for those who did not have any residence proof.
“When we checked his laptop, we found more than 1,000 fake identifications and an equal number of photographs of different persons. During questioning, the accused said he used the fake IDs to activate SIM cards,” said the JCP.
He added that accused sold pre-activated SIM cards for Rs 500 to Rs 700 each without obtaining any identification documents from the buyer.
Police said the operation began during the investigation of an espionage case, in which five people were arrested for allegedly providing information to Pakistan-based agencies. Police said they came to know that the intelligence operatives were using a Delhi-based number issued on a fake ID.