STF arrests a Nadia man for running illegal telephone exchange using ‘SIM Box’ device

STF arrests a Nadia man for running illegal telephone exchange using ‘SIM Box’ device

Biswabrata Goswami

KRISHNAGAR, 4 SEP: The Special Task Force (STF) of West Bengal police has arrested a person from Bethuadahari in Nadia for his alleged involvement in an illegal SIM box racket across the state.

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The STF officials in association with the Krishnagar Cyber Crime department conducted a raid in Bethuadahari last night and apprehended one Ershad Mallick. Living in a rented house there, the accused used to operate an illegal telephone exchange, using an apparatus called SIM box that camouflaged international calls as local ones by hiding the identity and numbers of the callers.

Sources said SIM boxes are being smuggled from China through Bangladesh-India border Petrapol. During the raid, Mallick had thrown the boxes in a local pond, but the officials later recovered the boxes from the pond.

Mr R K Gupta, inspector-in-charge of Krishnagar Cyber Crime police station said, “A SIM box contains a number of SIM cards linked to a gateway, but stored separately, making it difficult to locate and identify the origin of phone calls. A SIM box, which is also called a SIM bank, is a device used as part of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway installation. The seized two devices (SIM boxes) have capacities of 256 and 512 SIM slots from one location only.”

The seizure of SIM boxes from Nadia which is a bordering district with Bangladesh has put the police and other agencies on alert.

It may be mentioned that a SIM box can hold scores of SIM cards at a time, can route international call through a card as a local or domestic call and can help the caller to evade international calling charges.

Mr Gupta said SIM box can be used for three activities such as business, cyber crime and anti-national purposes.

“Along with the concern about the kind of people who are using this equipment, it also means financial losses to the national exchequer as international call charges can be bypassed,” Mr Gupta said.

Earlier, the Bengal STF conducted a major operation on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday and busted an illegal racket of SIM box communication in Kolkata.

Police said they have arrested three people including one Bangladeshi national who is the mastermind of this illegal SIM box communication.

More raids were conducted in the Airport Police Station area of Bidhannagar Commissionerate, Kolkata Police area, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri districts.

“The STF seized a total of 23 SIM boxes having a capacity of 256 SIM slots from seven locations. A total of 17 routers/switches, approximately 400 pre-activated SIM cards, WiFi modems of different service providers, laptop, data cable and other communication equipment were also seized,” said a Bengal STF officer.

Tags: #STF #SIMBOX #CyberCrime

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