Some unscrupulous retailers of mobile phone operator TeleTalk are stealing customers’ personal information in the name of providing free SIM cards.
They collect fingerprints and information from clients’ national identity cards and later register fresh TeleTalk SIM cards biometrically using the information and sell them at high prices (Tk300 to Tk500) to criminals.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police have identified an organised gang and TeleTalk Sirajganj promoter Abdul Baset, who were involved in such forgery last year, after a person named Md Shipon had filed a case against TeleTalk with the Bogura police station.
The CID has arrested one of the gang members named Belal Hossain from Sirajganj recently, who confessed to the crime in court, according to sources involved in the investigation.
Abdul Wahed, a retailer of TeleTalk, took fingerprints of eight members of Shipon’s family for a hundred times and copies of their NIDs, said CID Inspector Md Shipat Hossain who is investigating the case.
The gang gave them eight inactive SIM cards of Robi, another mobile operator in the country, after a few days, said Shipat.
Shipon then filed the case, he added.
According to court sources, a gang of frauds led by Abdul Baset would collect fingerprints and copies of NIDs by visiting households in the name of giving free SIM cards. Later, they registered the SIM cards at the TeleTalk Distributor’s office in Sirajganj.
“In January, Abdul Baset told me that some pictures, NIDs and papers were missing but the office ordered for uploading that information. I uploaded the information through the distribution management system,” said arrested Belal Hossain in his confessional statement. He worked as a computer operator at the TeleTalk Distributor’s office.
The CID investigation found that many high-level officials of TeleTalk, including its Sirajganj promoter, are linked with the forgery, said a source.
The source also said the gang would sell the registered SIM cards at Tk300-500 each to criminals and that most of these SIM cards are used in VoIP (voice over IP) business.
Besides, they would commit different criminal activities such as mobile banking forgery and extorting ransom after kidnapping the persons using those SIM cards.
According to the source related to the investigation, police are trying to arrest the other gang members linked to such forgery.