Express News Service
KOCHI: A key conspirator in the parallel telephone exchange case sold call routes to a Pakistani, Bangladeshi and two Chinese nationals, who all operated his system in India for many months. Kadampuzha native Ibrahim Pullatil, an accused in the case registered at the Kozhikode police station, also confessed before the Crime Branch — which is probing the case — that he was in contact with 168 Pak nationals. Illegal call routing, through internet or a PABX with multiple lines, avoids licensed telecom operators in countries where the calls originate and end.
Ibrahim told CB that he had received Rs 20 lakh and Rs 15 lakh from Pakistani Muhammed Raheem and Bangladeshi Sahir, respectively, as hawala money from Koduvally. The Chinese women, he said, were named Fly and Lee.
Raheem’s phone number was not registered in any of the Gulf countries, which the RAW officials consider as a method adopted by the ISI agents. RAW officials are closely monitoring Raheem’s activity and his money trail to India. The Crime Branch filed the report in the Kerala High Court while opposing the plea of another accused Abdul Gafoor, seeking to quash the case. The court dismissed the plea.
“It is explicitly evident that the intention and motive of the culprits were not a mere case of bypassing a phone call or cheating a service provider. It is a clear threat to our nation’s internal security,” stated the report filed by Crime Branch (Kozhikode) Assistant Commissioner T P Sreejith.
The soft switch used by Ibrahim to run parallel exchanges is of Chinese origin having Cloud Server in that country. It is similar to the DINSTAR Gateway device, seized in these cases (DINSTAR is a leading provider of VoIP gateway based in China). Ibrahim’s Skype chats and files revealed “he was in connection with various foreign nationals, including 168 Pakistanis.”
Moreover, he was seen bargaining with Pak nationals continuously, trying to sell his illegal call route to Pakistan. Ibrahim’s acquaintance with Gafoor definitely possesses a criminal aspect, the report said. Last year, a call to a military installation was intercepted from Kerala and a Palakkad native was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch. They also busted many illegal exchanges that worked in a sequential perimeter around Bombay Stock Exchange and they gathered some substantial clues that they were used for money laundering activities.
Recently, during the investigation of the abduction case related to gold smuggling at the Koyilandy police station, some of the phone calls were identified to have originated from illegal exchanges. “The phone numbers involved in many Pocso cases across the state are also revealed to have originated from parallel exchanges,” the report said.
The parallel telecom exchange cases reported recently in Bengaluru, Meerut, Patna, Mumbai, New Delhi, Cuttack, Tirupati, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram and Palakkad, and Telangana show the devices seized and the mode of operation were identical. The SIM cards used in these illegal installations were procured from Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, stated the report.