Mumbai Crime: Spy racket using illegal VoIP exchange busted

Updated: May 30, 2020, 18:44 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

In a joint operation with Military Intelligence Department, Mumbai Police Crime Branch has arrested one person and seized 191 SIM cards from him

This picture has been used for representational purposes.
This picture has been used for representational purposes.

The Mumbai Police has busted a racket involved in operating an Illegal Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) exchange in Govandi. In a joint operation with Military Intelligence Department, Crime Branch has arrested one person and seized 191 SIM cards from him.  The racket ran a spy network of Pakistan which was attempting to gather information about the Indian defence in Ladakh.

Official sources said that in a joint operation, the crime branch of the Mumbai Police and the military intelligence of the Indian Army unearthed three functional Chinese SIM boxes and one standby SIM box along with 191 SIM cards, laptop modem; antennas; batteries and connectors used for an illegal VoIP exchange in Mumbai.

The lead for the spy network operating using a VoIP exchange came in early May, when defence persons received calls from suspicious numbers, that sought information related to Ladakh region and important defence installations.

Since the callers were using fictitious identity, the investigating agencies suspected the role of the ISI, Pakistan's spy agency. Further investigation by the two agencies revealed that a few illegal VoIP exchanges at Mumbai, which routed calls incoming from Pakistan to local numbers, were used to extract information from defence persons.

Based on a specific tip-off received by the military intelligence, the Mumbai crime branch and Jammu Kashmir Police jointly conducted a raid on the exchange, the official said. As the action is underway, more details are awaited.

The VoIP system was declared illegal by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). 

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