|Monitoring cell seizes equipment worth Rs. 30 lakh|
security risk: BSNL officials with the seized equipment used for diverting international calls, in Puducherry.
PUDUCHERRY: A clandestine telephone exchange, which was diverting international calls through broadband connectivity, bypassing legal telecom channels, was unearthed at a rented house at Anna Nagar, a residential colony in Puducherry, on Monday.
Officials from the Vigilance Telecom Monitoring Cell, Chennai, which detected the illegal operation with the help of Crime and Intelligence Cell of the Territorial police, raided the house and seized electronic equipment worth about Rs 30 lakh. An investigation into the illegal operation was centred on the person who took the house for rent. The suspect, Manish, had provided fake address, Senior Superintendent of Police (Crime and Intelligence) B. Srikanth told The Hindu.
It was found that a particular Internet protocol address had been misused for illegal voice usage, when the private Internet service provider submitted its mandatory monthly report to the Cell. Subsequently, the Cell got the information that some mobile phone connections of a private service provider were being misused for international call termination. The BSNL officials said the department had incurred a loss of about Rs 1.5 crore. The illegal operator was using an Access Server, GSM Gateway and Ethernet Equipments equipment for diverting the calls. The network had a capacity of handling 96 calls simultaneously.
Besides the revenue loss to the Government, such clandestine exchanges possess security threat, as the calls cannot be monitored, according to the BSNL officials.
Mr. Srikanth said the Intelligence Bureau has been alerted of the incident. A special team of the CID was working on the case. The suspect’s mobile number was traced and the calls from the mobile were being tracked, he said.
The police suspect that there could be a larger network and the suspect would have connections with a foreign syndicate, which operates illegal call centres.
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Police make no headway in high-profile crimes Law & order
Police have made little progress in zeroing in on the culprits in several major cases, says Rajesh Nair
PUDUCHERRY: Even months after three sensational cases, two incidents of robbery and busting of an illegal telephone exchange rocked the Union Territory, police are yet to find out the people behind the incidents.
In the first incident a group of jewellery dealers from Chennai were waylaid during the wee hours by masked men on two-wheelers who decamped with more than one kg of gold and 22 kg of silver after sprinkling chilli powder on their faces.
Just a week after that, in broad daylight a petrol bunk cashier was robbed of Rs.13 lakh in a similar manner. The incident took the law enforcement agencies by surprise, as it was the first of its kind reported in the Union Territory.
Police say they are clueless in the both the incidents. The reason given by the police for not solving the first case was that it took three weeks for the complainant to provide details about the jewellery stolen. The complainant failed to give any evidence about the people who attacked them or about the two-wheeler they used. They could only identify the colour of the vehicle, which according to them was black. Police say they are now in the process of finding out the details about the habitual offenders who were staying in the territory.
In the petrol bunk robbery case police have not yet worked out how to go about the case.
The last to happen, the busting of telephone exchange, which according to the BSNL officials had caused a big loss to the telecom department, was yet to be solved.
So far the police could only manage to apprehend an accomplice of the main accused, Manish alias Abdullah.
According to police, Manish was residing in Chennai and ever since the case surfaced he was absconding with his family. Police have traced his native place and investigations are on his place of birth. Meanwhile, the accused has approached the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail.
Reliable sources say, the day when the team from the Vigilance wing of BSNL and CID raided the illegal telephone exchange, the accused was in Puducherry. The team even managed to reach him over the mobile but when he realised that something was amiss the accused escaped, say sources. If the police had planned it better, the accused would have been in custody, say some team members.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu