TN illegal telephone exchange racket: Agencies commence probe

Central agencies have commenced an investigation in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu after an illegal telephone exchange racket was busted by police.

Two people were arrested by the Chennai cyber crime branch police a couple of days ago on charges of diverting international calls to their mobile phones using illegal SIM boxes.

Police said that Zakir Hussain and Salman Shariff had set up two illegal telephone exchanges at two homes in Aminjikarai, Chennai and scammed telephone networks using SIM boxes that were illegal.

It is be noted that a SIM box is used to convert international calls to local calls and helps the user to get international calls at local rates.

Crime branch conducted the raids after BSNL raised a complaint stating that there were allegedly several suspicious international calls being diverted into local calls. The BSNL complained to police that they were losing money by passing off international class as local calls.

In the raids that were carried out on Wednesday, the police recovered four SIM boxes and 150 SIM cards, two modems and four laptops. After the arrest and confession of the accused the central agencies have stepped in. The agencies are ascertaining whether the duo were accomplices of any terror network or whether they had helped any terror organisations or individuals had approached them for illegal telephone calls to some handlers abroad.

It is to be noted that on the eve of Deepavali (October 23), a car had exploded in Coimbatore near Sangameswar temple in which the occupant was charred to death. The deceased Jameesha Mubin was out for a terror attack and six of his accomplices are now in jail under UAPA charges.

The Mangalore autorickshaw blast accused Mohammed Shariq had also met Mubin and the duo had held discussions at Singanallur in Tamil Nadu during September.

Intelligence agencies and the NIA have also confirmed that both Mubin and Shariq had a Dubai handler and connected all the factors. Intelligence is probing on whether the illegal telephone exchange at Chennai was used by these terrorists and hence the investigation.

Sources in the intelligence told IANS that a probe is on but refused to divulge the details.

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