ISLAMABAD: Two illegal gateway exchanges in F-10 Markaz and F-11/4 were busted and at least one person arrested in a joint operation by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Federal Investigation Agency.
The raiding team also confiscated accessories from the scene. The PTA claimed in an official statement that the raid was conducted because illegal telecom traffic information was detected through PTA’s facilities.
The raid was part of an ongoing campaign against grey traffickers- a term PTA uses for people who indulge in illegal telecom business. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Director Media PTA Khurram Mehran said that a number of such illegal gateways had been seized from different locations in Islamabad over the past few months.
Explaining what an illegal gateway was, he said it was the termination of international or long distance calls through an illegal path. “If somebody makes a call from the United Kingdom to a local service network in Pakistan, we call it termination. If this termination is operated by someone who is unauthorized, it is giving an illegal gateway to these calls,” he explained.
These illegal gateways cause huge losses to the public exchequer as the calls are not made through authorized services, which pay sales tax to the government, he added Khurrum told The Express Tribune that the people involved in these activities used different routers fixed with a computer network to operate illegal gateways.
They also require a telephone line. Previously, they used land line connections provided by the Pakistan Telecommunication Limited.