Gang Involved in Illegal Sim Card Issuance Detained By FIA

In the last few days, it was reported that the Federal Investigation Agency announced the arrest of a rogue sim card issuer group. The search was carried out at three distinct locations in Peshawar and about 10 suspects were arrested.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was also involved in the operation and actively assisted FIA in the process of identifying and capturing the suspects. According to FIA the gangs that were arrested employed a technique to manipulate Afghan passports to enable the issuance of several SIM cards.

Apart from capturing the suspects, FIA also confiscated a total of more than 450 Afghan passports and laptops, as well as four personal computers, and 15 mobile phones. A huge number of passports and other equipment suggest that the gang worked in a vast size and posed a threat.

PTA over the past few years has been working hard in the past few years to stop the illegal SIM providers, which makes this arrest an important victory for PTA. Similar FIA collaboration with PTA collaboration was observed in the past year, when FIA took a suspect in charge of similar SIM issuer operations and confiscated all equipment which included cellulars, gateways and gateways routers, switches, as well as SIM operators.

Other efforts against illicit SIM devices were spotted during the year. FIA in March this year conducted a search at Toba Gojra and Tek Singh Gojra and confiscated more than 20000 illegal cellphone SIMs. In addition to this it is worth noting that the Telecommunication Authority has also blocked 16,332 SIMs and 14,468 IMEIs over the course of the past year.

The information from the FIA reveal that the targeted gang issued SIM cards for fake visas, as well as Afghan Passport and has also been accused of manipulating Afghan passports

With the number of consistent attempts and arrests, it’s evident there is a consensus that PTA and FIA are firmly against the use of counterfeit SIM cards. Assistant director FIA when discussing an identical case, stated that “Such groups use illegal SIMs, and then fraudulently acquire information about the accounts of the victims’ banks. Since these SIMs are issued under the names of people who aren’t sure why this happens, it’s not simple to track down the actual culprits”

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