Illegal gateway exchange case: Bail granted to Uzbek national under Women Protection Act
ISLAMABAD: District courts duty judge Shabana Hameed Mughal granted bail to an Uzbek National Gahramanova Aliyya for her alleged involvement in illegal gateway exchange using Voice over Internet protocols (VoIP) under Women Protection Act (WTA) although Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had requested to grant ten-day physical remand of the accused.
A first information report (FIR) vide 03/11 was registered against Gahramanova Aliyya under section 31 of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) 1996, r/w 36, 37 Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) 2002, r/w 420, 468, 471, 109 PPC with FIA Cyber Crime Circle (CCC). The complaint into the case was PTA director enforcement.
According to FIA, PTA through vide letter No. PTA/ZD/RWP/lVT/02/2011 dated 22/02/2011 on the subject: Illegal Termination of International Traffic Bypassing Legal Gateway Exchange, to the Director FIA Islamabad Zone mentioned that the Authority has received a report that the IP 126.96.36.199, allocated to LinkDotNet was being used for illegal voice calls termination. The information obtained from the operator revealed that the said IP is associated with LinkDotNet connection at a house in Sector G-11/1, Islamabad.
PTA through systems deployed for monitoring and reconciliation of International Telephony Traffic (ITT) pointed that Aliyya along with others, with out obtaining any license was involved in illegal termination of International Voice Traffic using unauthorized VOIP gateway installed at sector G-11/1 Islamabad, which is an offence Under Section 31 of Pakistan telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act, 1996.
The complainant submitted relevant record of all the calls terminated through this system. FIA accordingly initiated legal action by registering a case against the offense and obtained search warrant from the court of Judicial Magistrate. Accordingly, in pursuance of the court permission, a raiding party was constituted comprising FIA and PTA that raided at a house in sector G-11/1, in order to unearth a gateway exchange being operated for illegal termination of international voice traffic using VoIP.
The FIA team raided the place where the accused persons were found running an illegal gateway Exchange. Gateway server filled with Main Server, CPU 4.PABX (Exchange Filled with voice cards2+4), Modem (Us Robotics 56 K) 7.D Link switch, bay lane unit 5.1inksys switches 10.2 x pads and other relevant record was confiscated during the raid. Meanwhile the accused persons could not be arrested on the spot.
According to FIA the accused female along with other people has established illegal gateway exchanges in the federal capital where International / overseas calls were entertained 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. It appeared to the recipients that calls were coming from local mobile telephone numbers. The original overseas telephone numbers were masked the legal gateway exchange at source country hence causing wrongful loss in tune of millions rupees to Pakistan.
FIA obtained arrest warrant of accused Gahramanova Aliyya on August 1, 2011 from the competent court and arrested her on August 8.
On Tuesday FIA produce Aliyya before court and requested ten-day physical remand for further investigation and for other gang members involved in this scam to be made on the indication of the accused but the duty judge granted bail under women protection act to female Uzbek national Aliyya.
Duty Judge in her order marked that the FIA has sought for physical remand of the accused. The offences are bailable in nature. “The accused is a woman, hence under Women Protection Act, she could be released on bail subject to furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs 100,000/- with one surety to the satisfaction of this court, failing which she will be sent to judicial lockup and be produced before court on August 19”, Duty Judge Shabana Hameed marked in her order.