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Hyderabad Man Arrested For Forging Aadhaar Details to Activate SIM Cards

According to police, the accused duplicated Aadhaar details to achieve his monthly target and to retrieve maximum commission from the telecom companies.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:July 4, 2018, 9:55 AM IST
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Hyderabad Man Arrested For Forging Aadhaar Details to Activate SIM Cards
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Hyderabad: A mobile SIM card distributor from Peddapally district in Telangana has been arrested by Hyderabad police for forging biometrics and wrongfully using Aadhaar details to activate SIM cards.

The scam came into light on June 20 when the Hyderabad office of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) received a complaint from a person about activation of a SIM card and his aadhaar details being misused for same.

The Deputy Director of UIDAI then lodged a complaint alleging that Santosh Kumar was involved in ‘illegal Aadhaar linking or eKYC’. Kumar was arrested on June 22.

Investigations have revealed that Kumar fraudulently downloaded over 1,000 certified documents from Telangana government’s registration and stamps department website and misused the data for illegal Aadhaar linking for activating at least 3600 SIM cards.

According to police, Kumar duplicated Aadhaar details to achieve his monthly target and to retrieve maximum commission from the telecom companies.

“His monthly target used be 200-250 SIMs but with increased competition, his target was raised to get 600 SIMs activated last year," DCP Venkateshwarlu said. The accused had learnt the fingerprint duplication by watching videos available on internet.

"The accused had good knowledge of internet, so he browsed and saw many videos about how fingerprints are created online. He then ordered raw materials and the machine required to create finger prints,” Venkateshwarlu added.

In 6 months, he downloaded 1,000 certified copies from government website and duplicated fingerprints to activate SIM cards. It earned him about Rs 12,000 a month.

The accused would first download the fingerprints and Aadhaar numbers from the property registration documents and then recreat the finger prints for biometrics to activate SIM.

The police have seized the rubber stamp machine, liquid polymer and other raw materials that were used. A case under relevant sections of the Aadhaar Act 2016, IPC and 66(D) of IT Act has been registered.

According to police, the primary investigation suggest that the accused did not misuse the data and destroyed the SIM after getting his commission. However, further probe is still on. After the matter came into light, the Telangana government has pulled down the link on their website and various departments have been alerted.

UIDAI, however, in its statement reiterated that the system is safe and secure and robust to trace any such fraudulent activity.

"The fact is that it was UIDAI which traced the fraud through its strong inbuilt security mechanism and lodged an FIR against the SIM vendor and got him arrested. Aadhaar not only prevents frauds, but also trace such activities quickly and bring culprits to book. People always get notified instantly so that they can report if someone else has attempted fraudulent authentication on their behalf," the statement added.

UIDAI also said that it has security features like biometric where people can lock their Aadhaar biometrics.

| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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