Hyderabad: The Cyberabad police on 3 March arrested three persons for illegally converting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls to local calls.

The accused have been identified as Mohammed Ashfaq (23) of Rajendranagar, Syed Mohammed Nasir (30) of Balapur, and Shaik Akbar (25) of Rajendranagar.

Mohammed Ashfaq was earlier involved in a similar case and was arrested in January 2017 by the Hussainialam police. He had jumped bail and was eking out a livelihood by driving cabs for Ola. Ashfaq had completed a course on Information Technology and had worked as a Bio-agent in ATM Integrity Informatics Private Limited.

After the COVID-19 lockdown hit their meager income, the three friends had hatched a plan to make money by converting international VoIP calls into local calls. They rented a flat in Upparpally, Rajendranagar, and registered their firm, Selva Technology, at Nampally and obtained the partnership deed. With that document, they purchased SIP Trunk Device - the virtual version of an analog phone line - from Jio which had 500 channels and three number (500 x 3) enabling them to connect to 1,500 persons. The trio also downloaded the Linux operating system and installed Ubuntu and Astrick software.

Ashfaq contacted Quickcom in the USA and China's Skyline. The latter configured the server for Ashfaq through Anydesk, Systemon, and Teamviewer. Meanwhile, Quickcom sold call cards to the citizens of the USA and other countries with the configuration of Ashfaq. Quickcom agreed to pay 1 paise for each call for use of their services. The three accused received money from Quickcom through Western Money Transfer.

On 3 March, the accused persons were arrested and produced before the court.

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