Telephone Exchanges Were Converting International Calls to Local Calls: Report

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Telephone Exchange

Six telephone exchanges have been identified by the Karnataka Police and Military Intelligence (Southern Command) which were illegally converting international calls to local calls. As per an IANS report, it was an illegal network that was made to spy on the Indian Army. Two accused males from Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been arrested by the police on June 7, 2021.

The two males have been identified as V. Gautam of Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu and Ibrahim Pulatti of Malappuram, Kerala. The accused were caught living on BTM Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Illegal Network Sought Information From Indian Army About Troop Movements

Gautam and Pulatti had built an illegal network of six telephone exchanges that were converting the international calls to local calls. They used 32 SIM cards fitted inside 30 electronic gadgets for conducting their illegal operations.

Indian army grew suspicious of the calls it was receiving on its Siliguri helpline when the callers were trying to seek the troop movements of the army in April 2021. When the army conducted its due diligence, it located that the calls were coming in from Bengaluru. The Bengaluru police were alerted of the same by the army, and the police have arrested the individuals responsible.

It was a joint raid by the Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC), which got the two accused individuals arrested on June 7, 2021. At the same time, a Hawala operator has also been arrested by the police living in Bhaktal, coastal Karnataka.

As per a statement from Kamal Pant, Bengaluru city police commissioner, the arrested individuals will be charged with defrauding the exchequer and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by creating an illegal telephone exchange which was converting international calls that were national threats to local calls for duping the army.

The Indian Army and the law enforcement have released a separate note saying that the arrested individuals are also guilty of putting the country’s security in danger. The accused have been rightly charged, given the gravity of the nature of the information those calls were trying to extract. If any classified information had been leaked, it would have put India in a grave danger.

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