ISI-linked telecom exchange busted in Latur

ISI-linked telecom exchange busted in Latur
In a major swoop, Indian security and intelligence agencies busted a fake telecommunication exchange at Latur in Marathwada region of Maharashtra – suspected to have been used by ISI, the Pakistani spy agency, to acquire sensitive military information.

During the operation spread over Friday and Saturday, the Latur police, Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra police and prosecution branch of Department of Telecommunication (DoT), conducted a series of raids and arrested two persons and seized equipment worth Rs 4.60 lakh.

The raids and investigations followed by the Military Intelligence based in Jammu & Kashmir provided inputs for a well-planned operation.

The two persons – aged 27 and 33 – were arrested and a case was registered at Shivajinagar police station vide C.R. No 204/17 under sections of 4,20,25 Indian Telegraph Act, sections 3, 6 of  Indian Wireless &  Telegraph Act besides section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

The two suspects were running the illegal telephone exchanges wherein international VOIP calls were routed through local mobile numbers. They used to convert a VOIP call from abroad into a voice illegally and transferring that voice to beneficiary and call receiver in India through an illegal international gateway.

It is learnt that this type of illegal VoIP exchanges were used by intelligence agency of the neighbouring country to acquire sensitive military information, ATS officials said in an obvious reference to Pakistan.

The loss to the exchequer form this racket is estimated to be over Rs 15 crore, officials said.

In the first raid at Prakashnagar,  it was found that the suspect illegally running a fake telecommunication junction. A total 96 SIM cards, one computer, CPU, and 3 machines for call transforming (illegal international gateways) were seized in this raid. This was being run for the last six months

Thereafter, one shop was raided in the village Valandi, nearly 70 km away from the place of the first raid, and two illegal international gateways, 14 sim cards and other miscellaneous electronic material costing were seized.

In quick succession, a rented room of the second suspect was raided. It was found that he is also engaged in the illegal business of running a fake telecommunication junction/exchange. A total 64 SIM cards, one laptop, 2 unauthorised international gateway machines and other material were seized. He is running this illegal centre from last 5 months. He works also as mobile SIM card distributor. Investigations were still in progress.


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