Mumbai, May 13 (). In a major operation, multiple police stations of Mumbai Police in collaboration with the Department of Telecom have busted a major racket of 2,197 fake mobile SIM cards issued in one name and arrested 13 persons. Top officials gave this information here on Saturday.
The Mumbai Police probe is part of a nationwide drive by the Department of Telecom, which has detected and canceled at least 30 lakh fake cards that were in circulation.
Joint Commissioner of Police Satyanarayana Chowdhary said that the Department of Telecom had informed the Mumbai Police about the operation of several suspicious SIM cards with the help of its supercomputers and a simultaneous investigation was launched by five police stations.
V.P. Road, Malabar Hill, D.B. Marg, Sahar and Bangurnagar police stations formed several teams to investigate the locations from where such fake SIM cards were issued on the same identity.
Police said these unauthorized SIM cards are used by fake call centres, bookies, cyber criminals, sex racket operators and others involved in nefarious activities.
Chowdhary said that during the investigation, five cases have been registered in Mumbai and so far 13 accused have been arrested.
In addition, there are an estimated 62 people in Mumbai alone in whose names an astonishing 8,500 SIM cards have been issued by mobile companies using their photographs.
Investigation revealed that in most cases hundreds of fake SIMs were approved using photographs of a person clicked from different angles, which were later sold to unauthorized persons, who used them for various illegal activities.
During investigation the officials traced and raided a fake call center at Mira Road, Thane from where they recovered 52 fake SIMs.
V.P. The road police caught Vishal Shinde, in whose name there are 378 SIM cards, while D.B. Marg police has arrested one Abdul Shaikh, who is in possession of 190 SIM cards with his photograph on the documents.
Malabar Hill Police has raided Abdul Mansoori, the alleged mastermind who had issued 685 SIMs under his photograph.
Chowdhary said that according to the Department of Telecom, there are more than 30,000 fake SIMs running in Mumbai, which are being probed.
He said that DoT has found that around 30 lakh such fake SIMs have been circulated across India, which have now been stopped.