August 15, 2017 1:37:35 am
The Mumbai Police Crime Branch, investigating the illegal telephone exchange racket in which international calls were allegedly being made to India at local rates, has claimed that a Bangladeshi man operating out of Saudi Arabia was the mastermind of the racket. The person identified currently as ‘Mohan’ was the one who had enabled the five arrested accused in India to carry out the racket. The five were produced before a local court Monday and remanded in police custody until August 18.
Last week, the Mumbai Police busted a racket where incoming calls were made to India from Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia. The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls were, however, made bypassing the country’s international calling gateways, meaning the calls would not be detected by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). This resulted in losses estimated to be over Rs 100 crore to the DoT, in addition to the security threat posed by calls not detected by the government infrastructure. The Anti Terrorism Squad along with the Mumbai Police Crime Branch raided these centres operating out of Govandi and Trombay and arrested five people facilitating the racket.
“During the interrogation of the five accused, it has come to light that they were being assisted by a man called Mohan, who is based out of Saudi Arabia. Mohan, a Bangladeshi national who has several people working under him, was coordinating with Mohammad Nazim Khan, the main accused in the case. Mohan, through his men, was pushing the calling cards through which these fraudulent calls were made to India from Saudi Arabia. While Khan has never met him, he would speak to him regularly over the phone,” said an officer linked to the probe.
The officer added, “Since WhatsApp is banned in Saudi Arabia, the Indians working there felt a need for a cheap calling option to their relatives in the country. That was the space filled in by these calling cards promoted by the accused. Using these cards, people there could call India at local call rates as against the expensive international call rates. The accused could charge as per local rates since these calls were not detected by the DoT and hence they did not have to pay any tariff.”
The police have found that Khan had purchased the machine called ‘SIM box’ from China and had gone to that country for training. The SIM boxes costing over Rs 1 lakh each were smuggled to the country hidden in amplifiers. Khan then came in touch with Mohan, who, using his network in Saudi Arabia, used to carry out the racket, said the police.
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