Thane police bust fake telephone exchange racket

Thane: The crime branch unit of Thane police busted a fake telephone exchange in Bhivandi. Bhivandi crime branch police inspector Sheetal Raut had received information about fake exchanges and the police raided almost 30 centres in Bhivandi and nearby areas.

Fourteen exchanges were found to be fake in this raid. Gangster Suresh Pujari also had used one of the telephone exchange for extortion calls. Shivaji Nagar police station had received a complaint from a builder that he had received a threatening call from gangster Suresh Pujari. The police were investigating the case, and it was traced to Odisha, where Thane police along with Odisha police raided a centre in a village in Odisha where they seized a sim box. While studying the detailed analysis, police zeroed in on 30 targets in Bhivandi and nearby areas.

On Monday early morning, the police team consisting 10 police officials and 100 staffers raided these fake telephone centres situated in Bhivandi.

The police seized 25 sim boxes and 438 sims of various phone companies. (Sim box is device used as part of a VoIP gateway installation. It contains a number of SIM cards, which are linked to the gateway but housed and stored separately from it.)

“The call center workers are not much educated but they have sufficient technical knowledge about call center. We are yet to investigate as who have given them training and technical guidance for this advanced technology. Also, the sims that have been recovered is a part of investigation. These call center used to earn around 40 to 50 thousand rupees with the calls,” said Madhukar Pande, joint commissioner of police.

The fake centers use various sim cards and through the sim boxes using the ‘dialer app’ (Chinese app). The calls can be converted into local calls. Here the caller does not have to pay the international gateway channel. The number gets coverted into an Indian mobile number making it untraceable to any security agency. Thus, it is an international racket, having various service centers in different countries. The Thane police have now invited the department of telecommunication for the assessment of losses to the Government.

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