Udayavni Special

Bengaluru: Illegal SIM box exchange case; five more held


Team Udayavani, Jun 15, 2021, 10:33 AM IST

Bengaluru: Five more persons have been arrested in the illegal SIM box telephone exchange case in Bengaluru.

The arrested accused have been identified as Mohammed Bashir (51), Anis Attimannil (30), both from Kerala, and Santan Kumar (29), Suresh Tangavelu (32) and Jai Ganesh (30), all from Tamil Nadu.

It is said that they were operating as many as nine telephone exchanges that were capable of handling 3,000 mobile SIM cards.

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials have seized 3,000 SIM cards, 109 SIM box devices, 23 laptops, 10 pen drives, 14 UPS and 17 routers.

The accused ran systematic illegal telephone exchanges in nine places around Suddagunteplaya, B.T.M. Layout and Madiwala of Bengaluru.

With this arrest, ten people have been arrested in connection with the case.

On June 8, the Anti-Terror Cell of Bengaluru Police and Military Intelligence have arrested two men who ran an illegal phone exchange, converting international calls to local calls, causing huge revenue loss and posing a threat to national security.

Ibrahim Pullatti (36), hailing from Malappuram in Kerala and Gautam B Vishwanathan (27) from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, had placed the 32 devices at six areas of the city to carry out their illegal activities, police said in a statement.

Later, Two people, who helped the kingpin Ibrahim obtain hundreds of SIM cards using the fingerprints of innocent people, and a ‘Hawala’ operator were arrested.

The kingpin Ibrahim  Pullatti revealed that he also ran such an operation in Pakistan and had hundreds of customers there.

The existence of the exchange was revealed after a phone call was made through it to a military station in eastern India.

According to sources, investigation agencies have found that Pullatti had over 600 Pakistani customers, who used to call their relatives and friends in India. These customers made monthly payments to his associates in Pakistan and he would receive the money through hawala.

Pullatti had been running the exchange for almost a year and a half and kept no records of his customers. More information about them is to be collected from the SIM boxes and 960 SIM cards seized from him.

He also ran a hawala network from the money he earned from the exchange.

Most of the SIM cards with Pullatti were bought from his hometown Malappuram, Kerala, and also from neighboring Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

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