Massive SIM card racket busted in Mumbai

The accused was arrested today and produced before a local court which remanded him in police custody till January 16.

Mumbai: In a major operation, city police
on Thursday claimed to have busted a massive SIM card racket, with
the arrest of a man from south Mumbai and seized over 4,900
cards of various telecom companies, some of which were
procured using fake documents and activated.

Acting on a tip off, cops of Crime Branch (control) as
well as Dongri police station raided a house in Madeel Sayad
Manzil building in south Mumbai yesterday and found loads of
SIM cards.

"The SIM cards of top companies such as Airtel, Idea,
Uninor, Cheers, Vodafone, Loop, Reliance and demo cards of
Idea were found in the house. A total of 4,931 SIM cards, one
laptop, four mobile phones and Rs 36,000 in cash were
recovered from the possession of the accused Mohammed Aseem
Razaak Turk (24)," Rakesh Sharma, senior inspector at Crime
Branch (Control) told reporters.

The accused was arrested today and produced before a
local court which remanded him in police custody till January
16, according to police.

Turk, who rented the house, and his aides, who are still
at large, have been booked under section 465 (punishment for
forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will), 468
(forgery for purpose of cheating), 469 (forgery for purpose of
harming reputation), 471 (using as genuine a forged document
or electronic record) and 420 (cheating), he said.

Of the 4,900 SIM cards recovered, 2100 belonged to Idea,
he added.
The accused, who has a criminal background and earlier
worked for a mobile sim card dealer, was arrested in forgery
case early this month by Tardeo police and was out on bail,
police said.

"Some of the SIM cards were activated after submitting
fake documents. For activation of the rest of the cards, the
accused would have employed similar modus operandi," Sharma

With Turk`s arrest, it appears that companies are not
verifying address of the customers before the activation of
cards, Sharma said adding that "We will see in which direction
the probe goes. We will go deep in the case and catch all
those responsible for it. Such SIM cards may fall in the hands
of anti-social elements who may use them for all wrong reasons
resulting in big crimes."

Explaining the modus operandi of the accused, Sharma
said, "Turk would take original application forms of customers
from the retailers whom he already knew. Then he would take
photocopies of the original documents. For this, retailer was
paid Rs 3 by Turk.

"The accused would take 100 photocopies of each original
application before returning them to the retailer. On these
photocopies, he would paste photograph of other persons and
make fake signatures."

Turk then would approach a dealer, who may be hand in
glove with the accused, saying that he had hundreds of
customers and he wanted SIM cards for them.

"Dealer would hand over the SIM cards after Turk
submitted fake documents. Behind each SIM card usage, Turk was
paid Rs 80 as commission by the dealer," Sharma said.

This way, the dealer also achieved his target of selling
maximum SIM cards and got recognition from his company, he

"As per rule, a SIM card should be used for at least five
minutes in three months. So Turk would start recharging it and
talk for five minutes. Later, he would use the portability
facility," Sharma said.

"For example, if he had used Vodafone SIM card for
sometime, he would then approach Airtel dealer saying that he
has hundreds of customers who want to switch over to Airtel
service. This way Airtel also got customers who switched over
to its service from other company. For this also, Turk was
paid commission of Rs 80 commission for each SIM card," he
said, adding "This way, he earned Rs 4-5 lakh a month,".
Amjad Khan, secretary of Mobile Dealers Welfare
Association, Mumbai said, "As per rule, the company
concerned should visit the address mentioned in the customers`
application form for verification. But the companies many a
times do not do this to reduce their cost."

Sharma also said that companies do not bother to
verify the address of the customer once the SIM card is


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