Odisha Crime Branch Cautions Against Misuse of Pre-Activated SIM Cards

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Police’s Crime Branch on Friday issued an advisory for telecom service providers regarding misuse of pre-activated SIMs. Misuse of pre-activated SIMs is a threat to national security.

ADG, Crime Branch, Arun Bothra advised the telecom operators for telephonic verification of SIM cards. Now only dealers with permanent shops will be allowed to sell SIM cards.

Telecom service providers (TSP) were asked to devise a mechanism for the customers to complain about the fake SIM and to get it deactivated. Those Points of sales (POS) violating the SOP of SIM activation will be blacklisted.

The TSPs have been instructed to strengthen their internal surveillance mechanism to crack down on the activated SIMs lying dormant continuously but are being recharged regularly.

Recently, the state police’s Special Task Force (STF) had arrested Pathani Samant Lenka, 35, Saroj Kumar Nayak, 26, and Soumya Pattanaik, 19, on charges of fraudulently procuring huge numbers of pre-activated SIM cards in others’ names and selling the OTPs to some Pakistani Intelligence Operatives (PIO) and ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) agents in Pakistan and in India for large sums of money.

During the investigation, the STF found prime accused Lenka’s links with Pakistani intelligence agents and has decided to invoke the NSA against him, the official said.

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