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Net4India chief booked for telecom grey market deal

March 06, 2004 21:17 IST

The Mumbai Crime Branch has booked Net4India chief executive officer (CEO) Jasjit Sawhney for alleged illegal termination of international telephone calls on mobile networks, reportedly causing a loss of crores of rupees to licensed operators.

On the basis of a complaint filed by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), Sawhney was booked for allegedly operating an illegal international telephone exchange on the company's premises in connivance with Ecovox India Ltd - a subsidiary of Swiss Telco - according to the FIR filed by the Crime Branch.

Ecovox is alleged to have been operating an illegal exchange under the guise of an SMS marketing company on Net4India's premises.

International Long Distance (ILD) calls originating from Ecovox network in Europe were received illegally at companies' exchange at Worli, converted into voice format and were routed through mobile SIM cards, police said.

Telecom analysts estimate a loss of over Rs 3crore per annum, mainly to licensed International Long Distance (ILD) operators, especially Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL).

Police have seized telecom equipment worth Rs 700,000, apart from 30 SIM cards (25 AirTel and five BPL cards), and arrested two persons - Murali Subramaniyan and Ashok Atal.

Meanwhile, Sawhney was on Saturday granted an anticipatory bail of Rs 25,000 by a Mumbai court, on conditions that he would appear before the police as and when required and would not leave the country.
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