Mumbai: A visa agent has been arrested for
allegedly issuing death threats to prominent politicians of
Maharashtra, including Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, by
presenting himself as a member of terror outfits and
underworld gangs, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old agent was issuing threats through
"caller ID spoofing", ATS officials said, adding this is
perhaps the first such case detected in the country.
Mohammed Mufeez Shahbadri, a tech-savvy man hailing
from Bhatkal in Karnataka, was arrested from the office of his
agency which provides visa and passport services in suburban
Santacruz yesterday, they said.
Shahbadri was produced before a local court which
remanded him in police custody April 9.
Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the
telephone network to display a number on the recipient`s
screen which is not that of the actual originating station,
For example, Raj makes a call to a person called Ravi
but makes a technical arrangement due to which a different
number appears on the recipient`s caller display screen and
not that of Raj, police said.
According to police, Shahbadri, who has been residing
in the city with his wife and two children for the last few
years, has not been doing well in the business and he took to
spoofing to falsely implicate his enemies and take revenge.
Through call spoofing since February 2011, he called
up at least a dozen prominent Maharashtra politicians,
including Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, BJP leaders Gopinath
Munde, Kirit Somaiyya and Sardar Tara Singh on their mobile
phones. He would threaten them, claiming to be a member of
either a terror group or an underworld gang. Last call he made
was in February this year, police said.
Shahbadri had telephoned Kadam, saying Thackeray would
be eliminated, police said, adding, "an FIR was registered in
a police station in suburban Kandivali in this regard."