The probe into the illegal telephone exchange and spying racket has widened with the Uttar Pradesh ATS, which busted the racket, making three more arrests in connection with the case. The arrests were carried out after Gulshan Kumar Sain who ran an illegal telephone exchange spilled the beans on his associates.
The accused persons had set up illegal telephone exchanges at a FIIT JEE centre in Delhi's Punjabi Bagh area. These exchanges were used to spy on Indian officials and leak information to Pakistan, investigations have revealed.
The racket came to light after the army alerted 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 IB 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.
In fresh raids that were conducted, the police have recovered six more SIM boxes. In all the police had seized 78 such boxes. Investigators also learned that the accused would obtain army base camp maps, details on troop deployment etc and share with their handlers. The role of some insiders in the Army is not being ruled out at this stage, an investigating officer informed.
The police say that the accused persons would contact ISI officers not just in Pakistan. There have been calls made to ISI officials in Nepal, Kuwait, Bangladesh and Canada as well. The police say that investigations have also learned not only did they share information about the army, but may have also given crucial logistic leads for terror strikes.