Federal Investigation Agency has nabbed a group of 20 grey traffickers who were using more than 1,300 active and biometrically verified GSM SIMs for grey trafficking.
FIA Cyber Crime Circle Punjab said that they were tipped about the grey traffickers through online forums where they were discussing the devices used in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and how to get biometrically verified active SIMs.
“We started focusing such users of internet forums and chat-rooms in order to reach them”, told Syed Shahid Hassan, Deputy Director, FIA Cyber Crime to Dawn News.
Shahid said that they initially caught the person who was selling active SIMs that were verified through BVS, who ultimately led the team to illegal voice exchange operators.
These verified and active SIMs are also used for fake lottery scams, fake BISP messages and other illegal activities
“During the raids the FIA team also confiscated 18 voice exchanges, 1,300 GSM active SIMs,” he added.
The FIA official revealed that grey traffickers used to converse about illegal modems, exchanges, active SIMs on these internet forums. “They even buy and sell GSM gateway devices and active SIMs on these forums”, said Deputy Director of FIA.
It won’t be out of place to mention that law enforcement agencies, PTA and telecom operators had thought that after abolishment of ICH and biometric verification of each and every GSM SIM in the country, the illegal termination of international voice calling would end.
However, there are individuals — usually in far flung areas of the country — who buy active SIMs against their names/CNICs and sell them to agents for just few hundred rupees per SIM.
FIA has to enforce strict laws in order to make sure that active SIMs are never re-sold to anyone
Agents, in the end, trade large volume of active SIMs and sell them to grey traffickers who use these SIMs for illegal voice termination.
These active SIMs are also used for fake lottery scams, fake Benazir Income Support messages and other illegal activities.
Telecom operators say that law enforcement agencies should get to those who are original owners of these SIMs to ensure that no one gives away their active SIMs to any buyers, regardless of the lucrative price.
“FIA has to enforce strict laws in order to make sure that active SIMs are not re-sold to anyone in order to avoid any illegal activity through mobile SIMs”, said a mobile phone company official.