Illegal telephone exchange used for spying unearthed in B’luru

Bengaluru: Karnataka Police, and Military Intelligence (Southern Command), have together busted an illegal network, comprising six telephone exchanges, that were converting international calls to local calls, and also ferreting out information from Indian army exchanges, and personnel.

Two persons, hailing from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have been arrested in the city on June 7, a statement issued by the police said. They have been identified as Ibrahim Pulatti of Malappuram, Kerala, and V. Gautam of Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, residing in BTM Layout of the city.

The duo had established a network of six illegal telephone exchanges in BTM Layout. Using 30 electronic devices fitted with 32 sim cards each for their operations, the illegal telephone exchanges converted international calls into local calls.

 Indian Army officials went into alert mode when their Siliguri helpline began recieving several suspicious calls seeking information on troop movements in April.

 The army located the calls to Bengaluru, and contacted the city police. A joint raid conducted by the Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) on June 7, led to the arrest of the two persons, while a Hawala operator has been arrested from Bhatkal in coastal Karnataka.

 Bengaluru city police commissioner, Kamal Pant said that the arrested persons are being charged with defrauding the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the exchequer, by illegally creating a telephone exchange.

Meanwhile, an Army Intelligence and law enforcement press note, said that the arrested men are also accused of “disrupting the country’s security”.