Mumbai Crime: Two men cloned SIMs for free talk time with their girlfriends

Duo was arrested after a builder received a Rs 4,500 bill for a SIM that had been deactivated three months ago

An Oshiwara-based builder got the shock of his life when he got a bill of R4,500 for a mobile phone number he had deactivated three months ago. Turns out, allegedly two former employees of a telecommunication operating company were cloning deactivated SIMs to talk to their girlfriends for free. They were arrested on February 27.

Santosh Prajapati and Siddharth Vishwakarma
Santosh Prajapati and Siddharth Vishwakarma

The builder had asked his mobile service providing company to deactivate a VIP number he owned in November last year. He was asked to send an email with the instructions. Also, he received a reply from them to confirm the deactivation.

Any mobile phone number can be activated only 60 days after its deactivation.

In January, the complainant got a message from his telecom company saying that the number is active again and when he didn’t get a proper response from the company on contacting them, he ignored the issue. The next month, he received a shocking bill of Rs 4,500. He approached the crime branch with a complaint.

Police says
Senior police inspector Mahesh Desai of Unit IX put together a team headed by API Deepak Sawant to investigate the case. Desai said it was a very difficult case to crack and with the help of sources and technical information the team zeroed in on Powai resident Santosh Prajapati (24) and Siddharth Vishwakarma (25) from Chakala in Andheri.

Investigations revealed that though the accused had left their jobs, they still had access to the company’s systems. Desai and Sawant added that using the ID and password of the company’s systems they accessed the list of numbers that had been deactivated. The police suspects that they cloned the SIMS and used them to talk to their girlfriends for long hours.

A case has been lodged against the accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act for forgery and cheating.

The con job
1. Santosh Prajapati (24) and Siddharth Vishwakarma (25) worked for a telecom company.

2. Even after they quit the firm, the duo used the user ID and password to gain access to the database 

3. Using the list of deactivated SIMs, they cloned a set of SIM cards

4. They used the cloned SIMs to make unlimited calls. They were arrested when a builder got a bill for a deactivated SIM card

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