Since October 2012 – after the inception of ICH – it was observed that Illegal Voice over Internet (VoIP) traffic had amplified significantly.
This mainly happened due to increase in Approved Settlement Rate (ASR); the profits increased to many folds in illegal VoIP business that encouraged the illegal business of grey telephony in Pakistan.
With-in four months of ICH, the legal international incoming traffic – as per a figure shared by CCP – of around 2 billion minutes per month reduced to just 400 million minutes per month. Apparently the remaining 1.6 billion minutes per month traffic was being brought to the country through illegal channels.
FIA, in a statement, said that its Director General ordered the Project Director National Response Center for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) to constitute an independent Task Force to eliminate the illegal gateways that are causing the damage to the country.
Consequently, a team was formed with sole purpose of eliminating illegal VoIP gateways through the lengths of the country.
The VoIP Task Force started an immediate action against the individuals and companies involved in the business of Gray Traffic and its trading. In pursuance of the orders, different sources were deployed to carry out surveillance and to identify setups installed for gray traffic and its trading.
The task force conducted these raids on different locations in the jurisdiction of NR3C Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.
NR3C, according to a statement, is said to have seized a total of 82 huge illegal VoIP setups, while 69 Case FIRs were registered on the perpetrators of these businesses.
The approximate cost of the equipment seized since year-2013 is Rs. 5,466 Million and calculated loss averted is approximate Rs. 2,330 Million per month.
In recent past, M. Ghalib Ali Bandesha, Director General, Federal Investigation Agency has distributed Commendation Certificates among the members of FIA Task Force in recognition of sterling performance in the campaign to curb illegal VoIP gateway exchanges, conducting successful raids and rounding up notorious criminals with highly sophisticated VoIP equipment.