Major SIM card racket busted in Thane: Over 11,000 SIM cards, 9,000 fake Aadhar cards seized

Major SIM card racket busted in Thane: Over 11,000 SIM cards, 9,000 fake Aadhar cards seized 2
The seized SIM cards, cell phones and rubber stamps. Picture Courtesy: Sanjay M

The Bhiwandi Crime Branch unit have busted a major racket involving the purchase and sale of SIM cards and arrested seven people in connection with the crime.

The accused would procure SIM cards of different mobile service operators in bulk allegedly by furnishing fake ID proofs and then sell them to customers without the requisite documents at a premium price, Joint Commissioner of Police, Thane Police, Ashutosh Dumbre told a press conference in Thane today.

“The SIM cards purchased were brought in use for anti-social activities and were being misused,” he said.

On the basis of a tip-off, police raided the house of Siraj Ahmed Ansari (40), owner of Ashrafi Mobiles in Bhiwandi on January 21, and arrested him and a customer Dyanprakash Gupta, who was buying in bulk the SIM cards from Siraj without valid documents.

During questioning, Siraj told the police about his accomplices, following which two activation officers of a mobile service provider company and three others were held yesterday.

Elaborating on the group’s modus operandi, Dumbre said Siraj, who operated from Bhiwandi, bought SIM cards in large numbers and had a pool of passport size pictures, fake Adhar card, voter ID card; all documents required to purchase a SIM card.

He used to randomly pick pictures from Facebook and used photoshop to make fake photo ID proofs out of it.

Siraj had as many as 470 activated SIM cards of different companies, the senior officer said, adding, police has seized over 49,500 photographs, 9,400 fake Aadhar card copies, 3,072 copies of fake voters ID cards, 1,987 customer order forms from him.

Police also impounded 11,345 activated SIM cards of different companies, 110 mobile handsets, 60 rubber stamps of different mobile companies, two computers and as many scanners and printers from the gang members.

A case been booked under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) rw 34 (common intention) against the seven people.

With PTI inputs

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