On Thursday the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad claimed to have busted a major illegal telephone exchange and spying racket. This is a very important case since the Inter-Services Intelligence is alleged to have hired an illegal telephone exchange company in New Delhi to make calls to army officials and source crucial information.
The police arrested one Gulshan Kumar Sain, a software engineer from Mehrauli in South Delhion accusations of operating parallel exchanges for nearly one year. He will be questioned further on the racket on Saturday.
The racket came to light after the army alerted the military intelligence officials in Jammu and Kashmir. It was said that some officers were receiving suspicious calls from seniors asking for crucial information about the armed forces. Information such as troop deployment, staff strength and movement of the forces were sought.
Many officers had given out information as the numbers were similar to that of their seniors, an investigating officer informed. However, one officer who refused to give out information spoke directly to his senior about the call. When he was told that he had made no such call, the officer decided to inform the military intelligence about it.
The Intelligence Bureau conducted a probe for nearly 15 days and found that the accused persons were using call spoofs and SIM box frauds. The callers from Pakistan made calls over the internet to the officers using the parallel exchanges in India. The calls were converted to voice calls through the SIM box. The receiver could only see Indian numbers on their phone screens.
The IB then found that the parallel exchanges in Uttar Pradesh were used to facilitate the ISI's spying. A major crackdown was initiated by the UP police and 11 persons were taken into custody. The police recovered during the raids, 140 pre-paid SIM cards, 10 mobile phones, 28 data cards and five laptops.
Investigations also revealed that Sain had registered a company in the name of his father. He obtained a licence for making wireless products. He however ran illegal telephone exchanges. The ATS is now probing his bank details and whether he was on ISI's rolls.