Pre-Activated SIM Card Racket Busted In Odisha’s Keonjhar, 4 Arrested

Keonjhar: The Keonjhar police busted a racket dealing in pre-activated SIM cards with the arrest of four members of a gang on Thursday.


The accused  allegedly sold SIM cards activated in Odisha to cybercriminals in Jharkhand, Bihar and Rajasthan. They were arrested from Ghasipura in the district. A told of 538 SIM cards, 18 mobile phones and five biometric scanners, 185 passport-size photographs, 25 ID cards, 25 ATM cards and a laptop were seized from them.

According to police sources, the racket was busted following a tip-off from the Maharashtra police which while investigating a cyber crime case found that a SIM card was activated at Ghasipura.  “During further investigation, we found that more than 4,000 pre-activated SIM cards were sold to cyber criminals in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal and other states. Of those, we have records of 300 SIM cards being used for cybercrime in different parts of the country. We will conduct further investigation and arrest others involved in the case,” Keonjhar SP Nitin Kushal told the media.

Ramendra Prasad, the IPS Probation Officer who was tasked to investigate the case, informed that the cybercriminals cheated people by posing as bank staff or government employees. The gang that operated from Ghasipura activated two SIM cards at the same time, gave one to a local and sold another outside the state for cybercrime. The miscreants posed as Point of Sale (POS) agents of telecom companies and registered the SIM cards in the names of people of Keonjhar district. The pre-activated SIM cards were then sold for Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 to cyber criminals outside the state who subsequently used those for forgery, he added.

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