1.8 lakh SIM cards linked to fake IDs blocked in Punjab Police crackdown, 17 arrested

Punjab Police, Amritpal Singh, Harjit Singh, Waris Punjab De, Assam
Punjab Police. Representational photo: Twitter/@PunjabPoliceInd

Punjab Police has blocked over 1.8 lakh SIM cards allegedly activated using fake identities and arrested 17 persons for issuing such SIM cards, police said here on Thursday.

Internal Security wing of Punjab Police in association with Department of Telecom (DoT) has begun an aggressive crackdown against distributors and agents who are involved in selling SIM cards with fake IDs, a police statement said, adding such activities are major threat to security.

A majority of cyber crimes and “anti-national” acts are being carried out using mobile numbers linked to false documents, the statement said.

Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav said that stern action is being initiated against Point of Sales (PoS) agents and other persons involved in issuing such SIM cards. Police teams have arrested 17 such persons, who were found indulging in the sale of such SIM cards, besides registering 52 FIRs under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) across the state in the last three days, the DGP added.

Special DGP, Internal Security, R N Dhoke said that he held multiple meetings with telecom department and telecom service providers, following which, police initiated the crackdown. In one case as many as 500 SIM cards have been issued with the same photograph but in different names, Dhoke said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Counter Intelligence, Rakesh Agrawal has been made the nodal officer in this regard and efforts are on to identify more such SIM cards, Dhoke said.

The special DGP also warned retailers of stern action for failing to comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, and added that the lapse contributed to the activation of thousands of SIM cards fraudulently. “Special teams of the Counter Intelligence Wing have been coordinating with the district police to zero in on SIM card retailers, who activated different mobile phone numbers with the same proof of identity,” he said.

The matter is also being taken up with the telecom authorities to blacklist such agents, the officer added.

Police are also investigating users of the fraudulent SIM cards, the police statement said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)