HYDERABAD: The Punjagutta cyber fraud case, which initially appeared to be a call centre scam offering free payment gateway services, has taken a more serious turn with the discovery of a SIM box during the investigation. This opens the ground for suspicion of a wider network and potential terror links.
A source said a SIM box with a capacity of holding 32 SIM cards was found among the items seized from the accused call centre operators’ possession. This device can be used to convert international calls into local ones, potentially masking the identities of the perpetrators and making it difficult to identify or track them.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has joined the investigation, exploring the possibility of links to foreign groups or even terror activities. The use of the SIM box further strengthens these suspicions as it is often employed by such groups for communication. Besides, the price for one SIM box alone is close to one lakh and the police found two boxes from the office.
While police await Call Data Records (CDRs) to understand the call patterns and identify victims, the investigation is now looking beyond the initial charges of cheating and forgery. Additional sections like criminal conspiracy and, depending on the findings, more sections could be added.