Indian police officials have arrested a man having 100,000 SIM cards in his possession. The cherry on top? All of these SIM cards are unregistered, despite the country’s strict laws for all mobile networks to check identity of a person before a SIM card is issued.
SIM or Subscriber Identity Module is an integrated circuit which in itself securely stores the service-subscriber key or IMSI. IMSI is used for identification of subscriber on mobile device. Earlier SIM cards were made the size of credit cards, however with the advent of smaller cellphone devices, the size of SIM cards have also reduced, so much so that micro-SIMs are now being used in phones and tablet computers alike. Also stored on the SIM card is its ICCID, IMSI, ciphering and security authentication information along with storing contacts, information relating to local network and list of services subscribed as well as the PIN and PUK codes.
Anwar Bablu, the man who was arrested in India is alleged to have been in possession of 80,000 to 100,000 SIM cards. The exact number isn’t know as there are conflicting media reports. The person in question here rented out these SIM cards to people without requiring any identification. When the renter was done using the SIM, he would get it back, top it up and rent it out to someone once again.
The implications of this act can be many. For one, unregistered SIM cards make it hard for the authorities to track someone, if the need presents itself. Logically speaking, someone who just wants a SIM for his personal use, he won’t be bothered about providing his authentic documents to the network, however when someone has dirty business to do, providing authentic documents is definitely on his not-to-do list.
It is a known practise in India that retailers who fill in Customer Application Forms for their network are bribed with huge incentives so as to accept fake documents and sell SIM cards, just to meet and go over their required sales target. The whole system is hauntingly corrupt.
Anwar Bablu has the following charges levelled against him: criminal breach of trust and cheating. We shall update you more on this story as it develops. Stay tuned.