Vikash Sharma

The personnel of the Cyber Police station in Keonjhar have busted a racket involving fake SIM cards with the arrest of four members of a gang. The accused had allegedly activated over 4,000 SIM cards in Odisha and sold them to cyber criminals in other states across India.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the miscreants, posing as POS (Point of sale) agents of several telecom service providers were activating multiple SIM cards in the names of people of Keonjhar district.

Senior police officials informed that after activation, the miscreants were selling the SIM cards to cyber criminals in Jharkhand, Bihar and Rajasthan. The cybercriminals subsequently used the pre-activated SIM cards to dupe people across the country.

In one such case, a victim from Maharashtra was duped by fraudsters who identified themselves as employees of a reputed bank and promised interest-free loans.

In another case, a victim from Telangana was duped on the pretext of providing e-bike at a discount.

The accused have been identified as Rajkishore Jena, Tapan Kumar Jena, Subrat Jena and Pradip Mishra. 538 SIM cards, 18 mobile phones, 5 biometric scanners, bank passbooks and ATM cards have been seized from their possession.

Keonjhar SP, Nitin Kulaskar informed that the gang was busted after carrying out an investigation based on information shared by Maharashtra Police regarding a case there.

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During the investigation, it was found that the accused were activating SIM cards and selling them to cyber criminals at a price ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per SIM.

The pre-activated SIM cards were subsequently used by cybercriminals for fraud. So far, Keonjhar Police has found that 300 FIRs regarding the SIM cards used in cyber crimes have been reported in different parts of the country.

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