Ministry of Communications
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DoT disconnects around 30000 SIM cards taken using forged documents in Mumbai

DoT employs an indigenous, Next Gen Platform called ASTR for weeding out fake/forged mobile connections and curbing Cyber Crimes

Posted On: 16 MAY 2023 7:00PM by PIB Mumbai

     : Mumbai, May 16, 2023

Around 30,000 non-bonafide mobile connections issued by Telecom Service Providers (TSP) in Mumbai has been identified by  the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) . DoT Mumbai LSA has analyzed all these connections and ensured that all these non-bonafide mobile connections are disconnected by TSPs. Mumbai  LSA carried out the analysis for its subscriber database and has identified total 62 groups where similar images are found with different names. With threshold of 50 or more subscribers in a group, there were total 8,247 subscriber identified in these 62 groups. There appears to be connivance of point of sale (PoS) i.e. SIM sellers, especially those PoS whose contribution of fake SIMs in a group is abnormally high, in issuing suspected fake SIMs. It was found that in one of the case 684 numbers were issued against one face. This was informed at the launch of Sanchar Sathi Portal by H.S Jakhar, Additional DG, Telecom in DoT Mumbai office today. Nandlal Suchdev DDG( A&HR), Kishore Ekka DDG (Security ) , Ajay Kamal ,DDG (Technology ) were also present on the occasion.

DoT has used an innovative, indigenous, Next Gen Platform (using Super Computer) ASTR - AI and facial recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber VeRification for this work. It has been designed and implemented by DoT with a vision to analyze, identify and weed out fake/forged, non bonafide mobile connections for curbing the menace of Cyber Crimes, stated the Additional DG, Telecom. The system compares subscriber photos and subscriber database provided by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and the output is generated in groups of similar photos of subscriber with different names.

As mobile connections subscribed on fake/forged documents may be used in cyber-crime, financial frauds, anti-national activities etc.  Such is the expertise level of fraudsters that they have created fake proof of identity / address documents, which can never be detected by human beings by analyzing a single case in isolation. Hence, Department of Telecom (DoT) had taken up the challenge for preventing cybercrimes using ASTR – the NextGen platform for detecting and weeding out fake/forged SIMs.

Total 6 FIRs have been lodged so far one each in Malbar Hill police station, V P Marg police station, D B Marg Police station, D N Nagar Police station, Sahar Police station, Bangur Nagar Police station. The steps taken as above will help to prevent the usage of such fake/forged, non-bonafide mobile connections for various illegal activities including Cyber Crimes in Mumbai.



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Read this release in: Marathi