International call routing racket busted; six held

Cyberabad police on Friday busted a racket of illegal routing of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls and claimed that Pakistan-based handlers of two persons arrested in the country, used this platform to avoid detection.

PTI| Updated: Sep 19, 2014, 23:17 PM IST

Hyderabad: Cyberabad police on Friday busted a racket of illegal routing of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls and claimed that Pakistan-based handlers of two persons arrested in the country, used this platform to avoid detection.

The Cyber Crime Cell and Special Operation Team of Cybderabad Police Commissionerate arrested six persons who were allegedly involved in illegal routing of VoIP calls by using local and non-local numbers.

"In the recent arrest of Naib Subedar P K Poddar from here and Asif Ali from Meerut in an espionage case, their handlers from Pakistan used these types of illegal VoIP exchanges to avoid detection," a release from Cyberabad Police said.

Patan Kumar Poddar was arrested on August 6 on espionage charges. He is accused of passing sensitive defence information to a woman, suspected to be a Pakistani national, whom he had befriended on a social networking website.

Asif Ali, who was arrested by the Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh Police on August 16 from Meerut in connection with passing information about Army and allegedly depositing Rs 3 lakh sent by his handlers in Pakistan intelligence to Poddar and two other army personnel, was taken into custody by Central Crime Station--a wing of Hyderabad Police.

Both of them are presently in judicial custody.

With regard to the racket of illegal routing of VoIP calls, Cyberabad Police said the accused, including D Venkata Siva Prasad and five others established illegal exchanges to facilitate international VoIP calls on land and domestic public switched telephone network and GSM numbers bypassing the international long-distance gateways.

"The accused in this case were getting grey VoIP traffic (non CLI-caller line identification) from international carriers and terminating the calls through domestic networks using illegal exchanges installed in their premises using GSM/CDMA gateways," police said.

Absconders, terror elements, Pak intelligence operatives use these types of grey exchanges as their calls cannot be traced back. These VoIP exchanges use fake post-paid SIM cards in huge numbers and operate from an unknown location to avoid detection, they said.

"The accused were making huge profits by operating illegal

exchanges," police said adding they carried out simultaneous raids at seven illegal exchanges in different areas here, where the accused were routing illegal VoIP calls.

As many as four laptops, eleven mobile phones, 281 SIM cards, 72 routers, wireless terminals and other telecommunication and networking equipment along with a car all worth Rs 40 lakh was seized from the six accused, the police release said.

The illegal VoIP exchange causes huge financial damage running into crores of rupees to the exchequer as international calls are routed without touching the ILD gateway, it said.