Islamabad: FIA unearthed 33 illegal gateway exchanges in current year
ISLAMABAD: The increase in misuse of modern technology is affecting Pakistan and with the blessings of this miracle still there are many hands here that opt to using it to earn billions overnight.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has unearthed 33 illegal gateway exchanges in capital during this year, causing loss of millions to national exchequer.
According to Daily Times’ findings, in district court 33 cases have been registered against persons involved in illegal termination of international traffic using unauthorized Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) without obtaining any licenses.
A first information report (FIR) vide 21/ 05 was registered against Ehsanul Haq, allegedly involved in terminating international voice traffic by establishing an unauthorized internet based gateway exchange under the brand and name of Binary Magic and caused loss of Rs 70 million to government. The complainant was Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Rawalpindi Zonal Director (Enforcement). The FIA arrested the accused on November 2009. Gateway server, filled with 4Xvoice cards, main server, CPU 4.PABX (exchange filled with voice cards2+4), modem (Us Robotics 56 K) 7.D Link switch, bay lane unit 9.1inksys switches 10.2 x pads and other relevant record, was confiscated during the raid.
In a similar case, an FIR vide 17/ 10 was registered against Syed Umair Hussain, owner of IPs 18.104.22.168 & 22.214.171.124 and was allegedly involved in illegal termination of international traffic using unauthorized VoIP gateway without obtaining any license, established illegal gateway exchange at three different places in Islamabad, which is an offence under section 31 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Act, 1996. FIA arrested the accused on December 29, 2010 and four wireless broadband, Catalyst 24-Port Ethernet, UPS and other computer equipment was confiscated during the raid.
Another FIR vide 04/ 10 was registered against Muhammad Zakria Khan, Khan through illegal gateway exchange used to load Rs 30 to 40 thousand twice a week and then would entertained International calls at source country(s) and converted into VoIP and by using Internet as a medium. The calls were transmitted to Pakistan where the illegal gateway exchanges containing mobile SIMs / IMSIs were installed. The calls were converted from VoIP to GSM and transmitted to destination telephone numbers so it would appear to the recipients that calls were coming from local mobile telephone numbers. The original overseas telephone numbers masked the legal gateway Exchange at source country and Pakistan was being bypassed, hence causing wrongful loss of millions of to the exchequers of source county (s) and Pakistan. FIA arrested the accused on April 10, 2010.
In the row not only Pakistani but Chinese nationals were also involved in running illegal gateway exchange in Islamabad. A FIR was registered against Jonathan Huang (Chinese National) but he could not be captured till to date despite being issued non-bailable arrest warrant on July 22, 2011 by concerned court.
Besides, many other cases are registered for running illegal gateway exchange alleged persons under sections 31 of PTA 1996, and 6, 7, 8, 9, 19, 20 of Pakistan Electronic Crimes Ordinance (PECO) and ETO, r/w 420 PPC with FIA Cyber Crime Circle.
According FIA cyber crime wing official, the gateway exchange is a telephone switch that forms the gateway between a national telephone network and one or more other international gateway exchanges, thus providing cross-border connectivity. He said in Pakistan the Internet customers were obtaining license from PTA for running gateway exchange but most of the people avoid getting license and running illegal gateway exchange. In illegal gateway exchange IP, VoIP is one of a family of internet technologies, communication protocols, and transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Other terms frequently encountered and often used synonymously with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband (VoBB), broadband telephony, and broadband phone.
Internet telephony refers to communications services—Voice, fax, SMS, and/or voice-messaging applications—that are transported via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
According to cyber law, the punishment of that crime is minimum 3 year and maximum 7 years with fine. In seven year punishment have not the right of bail whereas those tried for data damage, system damage and criminal data access, misuse of electronic system but in three-year punishment with the right of bail.