Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday busted an illegal telephone exchange that would route voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) calls illegally and arrested seven persons who diverted calls from India to Dubai and other places.
The ATS officials received specific information pertaining to the operations of the illegal telephone exchange that was rerouting calls from UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Several teams were formed that raided locations at Govandi, Masjid Bunder, Dongri, Worli, New Panvel and Kalyan.
The arrested accused were identified as Mandar Achrekar (36), Sibten Abdul Merchant (33), Nazeem Khan (29), Mohammad Siddique Batliwala alias Akbar (40), Samir Darvez (30), Basratali Sayyad (39) and Imtiyaz Shaikh (38).
The investigators found that the accused were operating the telephone exchange with the help of SIM boxes and routing the calls into voice calls. The technology to convert packets into voice calls that would be connected to the said locations was also being used.
“The racket was using internet protocol and PRI lines to run the illegal exchanges. The exchange has caused losses to the telephone companies to the tune of at least `37 lakh, as per the Department of Telecommunications,” said Vinay Kumar Rathod, deputy commissioner of police, ATS.
The ATS officials seized a server, nine sim boxes, 513 SIM cards of various service providers, three laptops, four computers, seven WiFi routers, two terminating switches and 11 mobile phones. The ATS is now looking the further ring of operators who helped them set up illegal telephone exchanges.
The police are now probing into the antecedents of the callers as these networks could be used for anti-national activities.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad officials have registered the case as per the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act against the accused persons.