Pre-activated sim card racket busted in City

Pre-activated sim card racket busted in City

Mobile service provider in cahoots with distributor, retailer, say police

Pre-activated sim card racket busted in City

A day after the arrest of Bordoloi alias Shibigiri, the organising secretary of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, a banned militant outfit based in Assam, the Bengaluru police have unearthed an organised nexus providing “pre-activated” sim cards in the City.

The CCB police found that Shibigiri had purchased a sim card on January 21, which was activated in a different name hours ago. Investigation revealed that Shibigiri had reached Bengaluru at around 12.30 pm by a train and had gone to a sim retailer’s shop – Bismillah Mobile Care near Electronic City. He was issued a sim card which was activated at around 9.30 am the same day. “The sim was issued in a different name and with documents which would have been submitted by some other customer. Shibigiri had started using the sim card at 6.45 pm the same day. On inquiring the retailer, it was found that there was a nexus involving the mobile service provider (MSP), distributor and retailers,” DCP (Crime) Abhishek Goyal said.

An FIR has been registered at the Electronic City police station against MSP (Vodafone), the distributor and retailer. The police found that a distributing firm, Kushal Agency, had supplied the sim card to Bismillah Mobile Care. The proprietor of Kushal Agency, Srinivas Reddy, sales executive Venu Kumar, runner boys Santosh and Ramesh, computer operator Gangaraju, owner of Bismillah Mobile Care Syed Saifulla and salesman Ejaz Ahmed have been arrested.

Police seized 30 rubber stamps in the names of various retailers, blank or half-filled-in application forms with photographs affixed and additional attested photographs of customers from the premises. A senior police officer said they had found evidence against Vodafone stating that the MSP was involved in the illegality to attract customers.

“The probe revealed that the Vodafone officials, in connivance with the distributing agency, have been activating sim cards in the entire area, using fake documents. The address proof and other documents were found to have been scanned and colour-printed. Any customer who approaches the retail outlet will get the pre-activated sim card and the document submitted is used to activate another sim card and sold to some other customer,” the official added.

Vodafone clarifies
Vodafone issued a press release stating that the company would co-operate with the police. “Vodafone is a responsible and law-abiding organisation and adheres to all applicable laws and regulations. All our partners, distributors, and vendors too are mandated to respect and follow the law and established code of conduct as per company policy. We treat all criminal violations with utmost seriousness and strict action will be taken against, in case non-compliance is established.”