CHANDIGARH: In order to curb the menace of issuing SIM cards on fake identities which have become the major threat to security, Punjab Police have got blocked over 1.8 lakh SIM cards allegedly activated using fake identities/forged documents, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav here on Thursday.

Pertinently, Internal Security wing of Punjab Police in association with Department of Telecom (DoT) has begun an aggressive crackdown against distributors/agents indulged in selling SIM cards on fake identities as majority of cyber-crimes and anti-national acts are being carried out using mobile numbers subscribed on false documents or in third parties’ names.

DGP Gaurav Yadav said that stern action is also being initiated against Point of Sales (PoS) distributors/agents and other persons involved in issuing SIM cards on fake IDs. Police teams have arrested 17 such persons, who were found indulged in sale of SIM cards on fake documents, besides, registering 52 first information reports (FIRs) under sections 420, 465, 467 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) across state in the last three days, he added.

Divulging more details, Special DGP Internal Security RN Dhoke said that he had taken multiple meetings with DoT and Telecom Service Providers, subsequent to that action came into being. He said that Inspector General of Police (IGP) Counter Intelligence Rakesh Agrawal has been made nodal officer in this regard and drive is on to further identify the SIM cards issued on fake IDs. He said in one case as many as 500 SIM cards have been issued with same photograph but in different names by forging the documents.

The special DGP also warned retailers across Punjab of stern action for failing to comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, a lapse that resulted in 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, while adding that they are also taking up the matter with the Telecom Authorities to blacklist such agents.

Meanwhile, Police are further investigating the actual user of these SIM cards issued on fake IDs.

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