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CBI unearths int`l call racket, arrests five

The CBI has unearthed a racket operating from Roorkee in Uttarakhand and arrested five persons, including an NRI, for allegedly causing loss of crores of rupees to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).



New Delhi: The CBI has unearthed a racket
operating from Roorkee in Uttarakhand and arrested five
persons, including an NRI, for allegedly causing loss of
crores of rupees to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

According to CBI, the accused allegedly conspired to
tamper computers of a BSNL exchange to make international
calls and operate adult chat lines.

The arrested have been identified as Ashok Chaudhary, Sub
Divisional Engineer of BSNL, Roorkee, Zia Alam, a native of
Faridabad, Uttar Prdaesh, Saharanpur-based Abdul Mazid and
Subhas Chand and the alleged kingpin of the racket, Sayeed
Zaidi, an NRI based in Saudi Arabia.

"During investigation, it was revealed that the accused
persons made calls to three African nations (Congo, Sierra
Leone and Somalia) on some premium rate numbers without any
ISD facility by tempering the computers of said exchange.

"Thus, subscribers of these international numbers were
getting huge payment by telephone operators without paying any
money at caller end," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.

In turn, BSNL was suffering loss of crores of rupees.

International premium rate numbers of Somalia, Congo and
Sierra Leone were taken by some persons in Italy and Saudi
Arabia and these numbers were passed on by them to Zaidi for
making calls from India through his Indian contacts, the
spokesperson said.

He was also paid huge money through hawala transactions
for carrying out such activities in India, the official said.

Premium rate telephone numbers are for phone calls during
which certain services are provided and for which prices
higher than normal are charged from callers.

Adult chat line is an example of premium rate telephone
numbers. Unlike a normal call, part of the call charge is paid
to the service provider through telephone company at the
receiver’s end.

"Searches were conducted at the premises of accused
persons which led to recovery of documents and details of
money transactions. Till now, transactions of nearly Rs 1.5
crore by hawala has been established," the spokesperson said.

Further investigation is continuing, he said.

PTI

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