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Over 29,000 SIM cards activated using fake documents in Gujarat; 18 held

As many as 486 photographs of common people were misused by fraudsters to activate more than 29,000 SIM cards, a CID release said

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Press Trust of India Ahmedabad

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The Gujarat police have arrested 18 persons from different parts of the state in the last one week for allegedly activating and selling SIM cards using forged documents and photographs of unsuspecting customers, an official said on Monday.
According to the Gujarat Crime Investigation Department (CID), an investigation by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had revealed that more than 29,000 cards had been sold by SIM card sellers or through point of sale (PoS) across the state using fake identity documents and photographs of people and customers who submit their documents to get numbers of their choice, the official said.
In several cases, it was found that shop owners had activated and sold multiple SIM cards using a single photograph, he said.
As it is not possible to detect such fraud by analysing each and every application manually, the DoT had put to use its indigenously developed AI tool, called 'Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR)' to detect and weed out forged SIMs, a release issued by the DoT stated.
A detailed probe by the DoT revealed that at least 29,552 SIM cards of various telecom service providers were activated in Gujarat using fake documents by PoS, it said.
Later, senior DoT officials in Gujarat convened a meeting with CID officials and handed over all the relevant details to them.
Since such fake SIM cards can be used for online frauds, cyber crimes and in other illegal activities such as betting and gambling, the state CID's cyber crime cell and Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) launched a joint operation to nab the culprits.
As many as 486 photographs of common people were misused by fraudsters to activate more than 29,000 SIM cards, a CID release said.
The joint teams of the CID and ATS raided PoS across the state and registered 15 FIRs in Navsari, Surat city, Surat Rural, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabd city and Rajkot Rural, it stated.
At least 18 sellers, who had allegedly activated and sold nearly 7,000 bogus SIM cards, were arrested and the drive to nab more accused is underway, the release said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 17 2023 | 5:01 PM IST

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