Regular-article-logo Saturday, 10 June 2023

Cops: 10000 SIMs were for firm, not 1 man

Jharkhand ATS chief says focus of probe is whether cards were used to circulate fake or hate messages

Our Correspondent Published 25.10.18, 06:38 PM
Some of the SIM cards and SIM banks seized from two houses in Ranchi’s Kantatoli and Kanke areas on Tuesday night.

Some of the SIM cards and SIM banks seized from two houses in Ranchi’s Kantatoli and Kanke areas on Tuesday night. Telegraph picture

Jharkhand police anti-terrorist squad (ATS) on Thursday clarified that 10,000 SIMs were issued to the company, One Excel, and not owner Javed Ahmed individually, and it would be probed whether hate or fake or illegal messages were circulated through these SIMs.

ATS has summoned senior Airtel officials from Patna to explain under what circumstances 10,000 SIM cards were issued to One Excel engaged in running bulk message services in Ranchi for the past two months. ATS, which raided the rented offices of One Excel at Kanke and Kantatoli on Tuesday, also summoned owner Ahmed to submit all related documents for verification on Thursday and continued to question three employees under detention.


ATS superintendent of police P. Murugan, who is leading the probe, said investigation revealed One Excel was registered with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the regulations authority of telecommunications in India. He clarified that these SIM cards were issued to the company, which was registered with TRAI, under the Airtel corporate user plan.

“The officials of the telecommunications company (Airtel) have confirmed this,” Murugan said.

An Airtel official in Ranchi distinguished between SIM cards issued to a company and to an individual. “Under TRAI guidelines, one person can’t be issued more than nine SIM cards. The moment a person exceeds this limit (nine), the extra SIM cards are automatically deactivated,” the Airtel official said. “For a company, there is no such limit.”

Murugan said their probe was not limited to establishing whether One Excel was legal and authorised by TRAI to send bulk messages or even whether the SIMs were obtained legally. “Our focus is whether these SIM cards and SIM boxes recovered from two units of the company based at Kantatoli and Kanke were used to circulate fake and

hate messages or anything which is against law. Technical experts are working on this,” he said.

“So far, nothing suspicious has emerged about the company or its activities. Company officials (of Airtel) have been asked to come along with documents that had been submitted when the SIM cards were used. The owner (Ahmed)

has also been asked to submit all related documents,” Murugan said.

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