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Illegal VoIP telephone exchanges busted in Latur, two held

17 June 2017

During the operation spread over Friday and Saturday, the Latur police, Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra police and prosecution branch of Department of Telecommunication (DoT), conducted a series of raids and arrested two persons and seized equipment worth Rs 4.60 lakh.

The accused were running the illegal telephone exchanges wherein worldwide VOIP calls were routed through local mobile numbers. Senior police officials have ruled out any terror angle in the case.

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The raids and investigations followed by the Military Intelligence based in Jammu & Kashmir provided inputs for a well-planned operation. The accused were making use of VoIP, a technology that allows a person to make voice calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular phone line.

They used to convert a VOIP call from overseas into a voice illegally and transferring that voice to the local beneficiary or call receiver in India through the illegal worldwide gateway. A total 96 SIM cards, one computer, CPU, and 3 machines for call transforming (illegal worldwide gateways) were seized in this raid. During interrogation, police learnt about a shop at Valandi, Taluka Devni in Latur and raide the place. According to the DOT officials, estimated total revenue loss to the national exchequer by this illegal activity is worth 9 crore rupees.

The sleuths have recovered 174 SIM cards, seven illegal machines used as worldwide gateways, two computers and other electronic materials totally worth around Rs 460,000. A total 64 SIM cards, one laptop, 2 unauthorised worldwide gateway machines and other material were seized.

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Offences have been registered at Shivaji Nagar and MIDC police station in the district under relevant sections of the Indian Telegraph Act, Indian Wirless and Telegraph Act and Indian Penal Code.

While Shankar ran an illegal telecommunication junction from his house in Prakash Nagar, Ravi operated from a rented room in Chakur taluka. As per the preliminary verification by DOT officials indicates a loss of revenue to the exchequer to the tune of about Rs 15 Crores. Both the accused were running this business for the last five to six months.

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Illegal VoIP telephone exchanges busted in Latur, two held