To check misuse of SIM cards procured by cybercriminals with fake documents, Bihar Police has instructed SPs of all districts to ensure strict enforcement of ‘mandatory SIM-card registration’ rules by retailers and telecommunication companies, a senior officer said.
The Superintendents of Police have been asked to monitor and inspect documents used for procuring SIM cards in their respective areas on a regular basis, the officer said.
“Instruction has been issued to all SPs to ensure that guidelines of TRAI for registration of SIM cards are strictly followed by retailers and service providers. They (SPs) have been asked to monitor and inspect documents used for procuring SIM cards on a regular basis. Strict action will be initiated by police against those who are found violating TRAI’s guidelines”, Additional Director General (ADG) of the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police, Nayyar Hasnain Khan, told PTI on Thursday.
The ADG said action will also be initiated against those who indulge in sale and purchase of pre-activated SIM cards.
“Police have asked telecom companies to book customers with SIM cards issued on fake documents and further inform the police.
Investigations have revealed that criminals, liquor mafias and Naxal groups frequently obtain SIM cards with fake documents to execute crime. Besides, fraudsters also use SIM cards procured with fake documents to execute cases related to cybercrime such as honey trapping, sextortion, ATM fraud, debit/credit card fraud among others,” he said.
Deactivating illegally procured SIM cards in bulk will deal a major blow to fraudsters, the ADG claimed.
Six Bihar districts—Patna, Nawada, Nalanda, Gaya, Sheikhpura and Jamui are hotspots of cybercrime in the state. There are cybercriminals based in Nawada, Gaya, Nalanda, Jamui, and Sheikhpura districts in the state working as associates for the interstate gangs operating from Rajasthan, Delhi, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
A total of 170 cases were registered in different police stations across the state for illegally procuring more than 920 SIM cards in 2022.
Maximum cases were registered in Madhubani (35), followed by Nalanda (30), Bhojpur (21), Samastipur (16), Lakhisarai (10), Patna (8), Jamui (8).
Following investigation, a maximum 219 SIM cards, procured through fake documents, were deactivated in Gaya alone in 2022. Two FIRs, involving 195 persons, have so far been registered in Gaya, said the ADG.
Similarly in Madhubani district, a total of 139 SIM cards were deactivated following registration of 35 cases, he said, adding in Supaul a total of 71 SIM cards were deactivated. PTI