In a major blow to the evil designs of cyber fraudsters, the Commissionerate Police on Tuesday busted a racket involved in selling pre-activated SIM cards. Such cards are used to carry out cyber crimes, Police said.
As per preliminary reports, the Commissionerate Police has arrested seven members of the criminal gang including some staff of variois mobile phone service providers, distributors and retailers.
Senior Police officials said that over 16,000 pre-activated SIM cards, over 150 mobile phones have been seized from their possession.
Twin City Police Commissioner, Saumendra Priyadarshi said the activities of the gang came to light during the investigation into a case registered at the Saheed Nagar police station.
During investigation, vital leads were received regarding pre-activated SIM cards being available easily in Bhadrak district.
Based on further leads, the Commissionerate Police managed to nab seven persons involved in the racket.
“The racket was operating by arranging pre-activated SIM cards which are used for various cyber crimes. While investigating a case, we learnt that such a racket is operating out of Bhadrak,” said Priyadarshi.
According to Priyadarshi, the gang used to activate SIM cards by giving different identity credentials. A bulk of such pre-activated SIM cards were mostly being supplied to other states in the country.
The investigation revealed that such pre-activated SIM cards were not used in Odisha for cybercrimes. Rather huge stock of such SIM cards were supplied to other agents, distributors and even retailors in several parts of the country. The gang managed to successfully activate multiple SIM cards by taking advantage of the sale pressure of various distributors.
“As distributors are under pressure to sell more SIM cards, the gang exploited such situation to their advantage. The gang subsequently activated multiple SIM cards by using one credentials,” said the Police Commissioner.
The Twin City Police Commissioner informed that the seized pre-activated SIM cards were being used by criminals to cheat people through various online frauds.
The criminals mostly used to destroy the SIM cards after each crime. It is suspected that the gang duplicated credentials and activated SIM cards. They made huge money by selling such pre-activate SIM cards through various courier agencies to other agents in other parts of the country.