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Net4india chief booked on ILD fraud charges

Last updated on: March 08, 2004 08:56 IST

The Mumbai crime branch has booked net4india chief executive officer 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, 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 first information report 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. Police have seized telecom equipment worth Rs 700,000, apart from 30 SIM cards (25 Airtel and 5 BPL cards), and arrested two persons -- Murali Subramaniyan and Ashok Atal -- in relation with the issue.

Meanwhile, Sawhney was 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, police said.

The international long distance calls originating from Ecowox network in Europe were received illegally at companies' exchange at Worli, converted into voice format and were routed through mobile SIM cards.

Telecom analysts estimate a loss of over Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) per annum, mainly to licensed ILD operators, especially Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd.

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