Bengaluru Police’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) and Military Intelligence, in a joint operation on Tuesday, busted a nexus that was transmitting intelligence related information about country’s defence establishments to Pakistan.
The police arrested 41-year-old Sharafudheen who hails from Kerala’s Wayand and was living in Bengaluru for the past two years for allegedly running an illegal telephone exchange centre in the city. According to the CCB, the accused came into the radar after a suspicious call from a Pakistan spy regarding the defence assets and asking for other secret information was intercepted.
“Sharafudheen has been taken into custody for 10 days. There is information about calls being made from Pakistan and also from other countries. This is a sensitive issue and the interrogation of the accused is on,” said CCB chief Ramana Gupta.
The accused had allegedly opened several telephone exchanges centers across the city to convert international calls into local. During the investigation, authorities seized over 2,144 mobile SIM cards and 58 SIM boxes, which were reportedly used to convert international calls into local ones. According to the CCB, these mobile SIM cards were purchased from several states, including Odisha and Gujarat. In north Bengaluru, the police raided Bhuvaneshwarinagar, Chikkasandra, and Siddheshwar where they discovered a couple of SIM cards stashed in the restrooms.
“To convert a one-minute international call, it costs Rs 8-10. The accused has purchased many SIMs from different states of the country and has set up telephone exchanges in Bengaluru, which are been raided and more than 2,144 SIM cards and 58 SIM boxes are been seized. He hid most of the sims in the washroom also,” said CCB Chief.
According to the CCB and Military Intelligence, several other accused are also likely to be part of the case. The investigating agencies say the matter is a threat to national security, and the case will be probed.