LUCKNOW: The UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and department of telecommunications (DoT) on Saturday unearthed an illegal Internet calling racket after arrest of two people from a house in Lucknow’s Janakipuram colony under Vikas Nagar police station.
Police officials said the two accused were involved in issuing threat to different VVIPs through VoIP calls and causing national threat by operating illegal telephone exchange by converting international calls into local calls. The officials said the ATS sleuths seized equipment, including three VOIP multi-SIM gateways, 183 pre-activated SIM cards, three modem routers, a tablet, Internet port, a data connector power station cable and other peripheral devices used for operating the illegal telephone exchange.
In a press note shared by UP ATS, the officials stated the two accused were identified as Mohdamed Zabir, 32, and Abdul Shahnawaz, 30, both residents of Madeyganj, Lucknow. They said the two accused revealed during interrogation that they learnt this calling trick from some friends in Mumbai and had been operating this illegal exchange for the past few months.
A senior ATS official said the two accused used to divert international calls to SIM boxes and then to local mobile numbers to pose as if the calls were originating from a local number. “Through this method, the racketeers managed to call without using national gateway and subsequently without coming under the radar of national intelligence agencies. Such illegal telephone exchanges are being used by terror operatives, hawala (international illegal money transaction) network and other criminal groups,” he said.
The official said the duo used to collect money from other callers for routing their calls through the illegal exchange. “They later transferred the collected money to different accounts through Internet banking and e-wallet,” he added.
He said other national investigation agencies had been informed about the arrest and information extracted. He said the ATS was trying to get the police custody remand of the accused to further interrogate them about their suspected involvement in facilitating terror and criminal groups in making calls to different places in the country.
The calls generating from other countries are received on SIM boxes and these calls are converted into local calls with the help of modem routers before transferring them to local mobile numbers at different places in the country. Through this trick, the receivers’ mobiles display local numbers since the calls are routed through illegal telephone exchanges.
The racketeers also managed to skip the national gateway through which generally calls originating from other countries are routed to different locations in the country and subsequently do not get tracked in case of any crime or terror activities.
Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Saturday said the Centre has given a target of eradicating malaria by 2030 but the state government has taken it as a challenge to make the State malaria-free by 2025. Karnataka accounted for only 1,701 cases which is just 0.9 per cent of cases in the country. “I congratulate all the health officials and staff for keeping malaria cases under control in Karnataka,” Sudhakar said.
Chandigarh Police’s crime branch arrested three members of an inter-state gang of vehicle lifters and recovered eight stolen vehicles from their possession. The accused, Akshay, 28, Jaipal, 23 and Rahul, 27, all from Sonepat in Haryana, were arrested from Ganaur, Haryana following a tip-off as well as technical assistance. The recovered cars included four Maruti Suzuki Brezzas and one Celerio, Ciaz and Baleno each.
After the syndicate polls were held earlier this month, Panjab University is now in process to conduct the election for the deans of its various faculties that have been delayed by over a year now. The varsity is likely to initiate the election process for the added members so that elections for faculty deans can be conducted. Added members Added members to the faculty also participate in the election of deans.
There’s no end to complaints about goof-ups by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. After complaints of inflated and delayed power bills by domestic consumers, now PSPCL has served zero amount bills to 460 industrial and commercial category consumers in Mohali, Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts. PSPCL attributed its blunder to a technical glitch, but had no word on why it was not corrected before the bills were delivered.
Tricity’s active caseload shot past the 1,000 mark on Saturday, with 216 people testing positive, highest in three weeks. Chandigarh reported 88 fresh infections, compared to 80 the day before. In Mohali, the figure rose from 57 to 63 and from 40 to 65 in Panchkula. This took tricity’s active cases to 1,084, highest since June 30. As many as 361 people are infected in Mohali and another 223 in Panchkula.