FIA, PTA bust illegal gateway exchanges -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

FIA, PTA bust illegal gateway exchanges

By Ali Hassan

ISLAMABAD: Additional Sessions Judge Riffat Sultan Sheikh Monday adjourned a cyber crime case against two men accused of illegally terminating international traffic using unauthorized Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP). The complaint into the case was Zonal Director Rawalpindi Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

A First Information Report (FIR) vide 17/ 10 dated 21-10-2010 was registered under section 31 of PTA 1996, r/v 36, 37 ETO 2002 r/w 420,468,471,109 PPC against the accused.

According to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), PTA Zonal Director (ZD) Rawalpindi Muhammad Shafiq lodged a complaint No. 6-9/2010(IVT) ZDR/PTA dated 21/10/2010 with Project Director (NR3C) FIA Islamabad.

PTA official, in his complaint, alleged that the authority through systems deployed for monitoring and reconciliation of international telephony traffic suspected that Syed Umair Hussain, the owner of IPs 115.186.173.158 & 115.186.175.126, to be involved in illegal termination of international traffic using unauthorized VoIP gateway without obtaining any license at plazas located in F-11 and E-11 Markaz Islamabad which was an offence under section 31 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996. FIA obtained search and seize warrants from Senior Civil Judge Islamabad.

FIA and PTA raided the place in E-11 and seized an operational illegal VoIP gateway exchange while arresting Syed Umai Hussain and Farhan shah S/O Faiz Muhammad red handed on the spot.

Over the interrogation, the accused disclosed they were also running another illegal VoIP gateway exchange in F-11 Markaz Islamabad that was also confiscated during another raid.

Both the accused were arrested on December 29, 2010 and produced before court on December 30, 2010. The court had awarded a four-day physical remand for both and later, after some hearings, the ASJ sent them on judicial remand.

FIA informed the court that Syed Umair was working with Benazir Income Support Program. The other accused Ahmed occasionally visited both locations and managed equipment installed there.

The accused disclosed that the equipment including wireless broadband, Catalyst 24-Port Ethernet, UPS etc, which were provided by the second accused Farhan Shah.

The accused Syed Umair Hussain was inquired about the whereabouts of Ahmed but he showed ignorance about him.

During the course of investigation, the accused Farhan Shah disclosed that he was Project Manager in M/s Inbox Business Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. where his job was to supervise project, deployment, and to support company sell hardware.

FIA also informed that the further investigation regarding the case was under way and vowed to finish it soon. Finally, Additional Sessions Judge adjourned the case till 14-04-2011.
Source: Daily Times
Date:4/5/2011