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Delhi: 4 arrested for operating illegal international telephone exchange causing revenue loss to govt

Officials of the Department of Telecom had filed a complaint alleging that they had received inputs about an illegal international telecom setup being operated by a man named Zulifiqar at Choori Walan in Chawri Bazar, the police said.

Abhay Parashar Reported by: Abhay Parashar @abhayparashar
New Delhi Published on: October 02, 2021 10:20 IST
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Image Source : INDIA TV/FILE

4 arrested for operating illegal international telephone exchange in Delhi

The Delhi Police has arrested four people for allegedly operating an illegal international telephone exchange in central Delhi's Hauz Qazi area, officials said on Friday. The exchange used to convert internet-based international calls into voice calls resulting in a revenue loss of Rs 103 crores to the government, the police said. The accused have been identified as Mohammad Irfan alias Rajji (37), a resident of Seelampur, Irfan Ali (48), Zulfiqar Ali (48) and his son Areeb Ali (22), all residents of Sita Ram Bazar in Delhi, they said.

Officials of the Department of Telecom had filed a complaint alleging that they had received inputs about an illegal international telecom setup being operated by a man named Zulifiqar at Choori Walan in Chawri Bazar, the police said.

Thereafter, the police found out that the illegal telephone exchange was receiving calls from the Gulf nations, the US, UAE, Canada, Nepal, Australia, Pakistan and many other countries, and those calls were being transmitted illegally to Indian numbers, they said.

The police also found out that Zulifiqar had taken the telecom resources from a service provider in the name of Adeeba Enterprises. The accused had taken the connection on November 26 last year.

A raid was then conducted in coordination with DoT but the accused was not found there, a senior police officer said.

The police then nabbed a man named Imran Khan on February 6, police said.

The trail of the illegal server was then traced. On Wednesday, Irfan, who had installed the software through which the international calls were routed on the local numbers, was arrested, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Shweta Chauhan said.

On Wednesday, Zulfiqar was also arrested. He was the sole proprietor of Adeeba Enterprises. The police also nabbed Irfan and Areeb, the DCP said.

"The illegal international GSM termination exchange was set up using SIP trunk, internet and server-based technologies. The setups were illegally transmitting foreign calls in India, bypassing the legal international and national gateways of Indian telecom service providers," the police said.

The caller line identification (CLI) was used to display Indian numbers for the internationally landed calls, the police said, adding that such calls cannot be monitored by the law enforcement agencies in India.

The police found out that around 1,47,000 calls were landing on Indian telephone or mobile numbers daily from the setup, including around 50,000 from Pakistan, officials said.

"International calls can only be terminated in India through DoT licensed operators. The total financial loss to the Indian government is Rs 103 crores. A total of 4,87,17,357 calls were diverted by this setup," the police said.

One laptop, two SIPs servers, six routers, one UPS among others were recovered from the possession of the accused, they said.

Irfan had gone to Mumbai in 2017-18 and had come in touch with a man named Azeem who taught him how to set up the SIM box, following which they installed a small setup in Mumbai. However, when the Mumbai Police arrested his associates, Irfan fled to Delhi, they added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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