Local phone service providers including Telecom and Mobitel as well as the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) are losing a colossal amount of revenue due to a ‘call termination’ racket operating in Sri Lanka, it was reported.
Agencies conducting investigations into the matter have received information that one such racketeer earns as much as Rs.02 – 05 million per day.
It was reported that these racketeers earn this amount by redirecting over 100,000 minutes of IDD calls in a single day.
Sri Lanka Telecom PLC is equipped with the technology to detect this kind of call termination scams and has also set up a separate unit called the ‘Fraud Management Unit’ solely for this purpose.
This unit, which is currently operating under the networking division, is said to have been well-functioning when it was under the financial division.
Senior officials reportedly shirked from launching investigations into these racketeers by citing the arrival of mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, IMO, Viber and Messenger as the reason for these daily revenue losses.
Meanwhile, investigations have revealed that the racket is currently being largely operated by an individual named ‘Rocky’ who is originally from Gampola and has now settled in Colombo.
Investigations revealed that Rocky is pretending to be an UK national and uses a phone number registered in England.
Apart from this, he is also said to be involved in Undiyal transactions.
He has been arrested by the police in connection with this fraud on a previous occasion as well.
According to security forces, those involved in this racket continue to do so again even after being reprimanded, as the relevant fine is as low as Rs.10,000.
Security forces also note that since such racketeers also support terrorist activities, questioning them under detention orders would enable them to weed out this racket altogether.
Heads of mobile phone service providers allege that the arrest of such traffickers keep getting delayed due to the lukewarm reaction by the investigation departments.
Meanwhile, former chairpersons of service providers, former cricket players and former presidential secretaries have also been accused by the media of being involved in this racket.