Call re-route racket busted, four held

The Central Crime Branch special investigation wing has busted an international mobile phone call re-routing racket by arresting four people.

Eshwarchandra Vidyasagar, 34, an MCA graduate from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh; Ramarao, 51, a Tata Indicom retailer; G N Saptadri, 30, a regional distributor of Tata Indicom SIM cards; and Praveen, 27, from Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh, are the arrested.

The foursome were running an illegal telephone exchange to re-route international calls as local calls and dupe a mobile service provider of the differential tariff. The racket was in operation since March 2012.

According to police, Tata Indicom, a private mobile service provider with CDMA technology, had introduced a special package of unlimited calls for a month for Rs 899, only for Karnataka.

Vidyasagar, the kingpin, saw an opportunity to make fast bucks in the offer. He shifted to Bangalore and set up an exchange network at a rented house in Cheluvayya Gardens, Ramamurthy Nagar. He enlisted himself as an agent with a foreign VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) provider, Speed Flow.

The firm provides its agents with calling cards and a unique number through which they provide international call services in their region.

Vidyasagar roped in Ramarao, a Tata Indicom retailer from West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, and Saptadri, the regional Tata Indicom SIM card distributor from Bangalore.

The duo provided Vidyasagar with 800 SIM cards of the special package, without obtaining proper documents.

Vidyasagar, with the assistance of Praveen, used to mask the international calls which he received as an agent of Speed Flow as local calls, using Internet routers and the SIM cards. He made huge money as Speed Flow paid him international call tariff while the calls were routed as local calls for a pittance.

Senior police officials who led the operation told Deccan Herald that the money involved might run into crores of rupees. “The amount of money involved in the racket is yet to be officially ascertained,”officials said.

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