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Friday, December 7, 2007
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Illegal VoIP Business

GP-supplied equipment seized from house of AccessTel owner

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday raided the head office of Grameenphone after it "found out Grameenphone's involvement" in providing illegal VoIP (voice over internet protocol) equipment to an Internet service provider (ISP).

Rab officials said Grameenphone supplied VoIP switches to AccessTel, which was running illegal VoIP business using the switches. Rab personnel claimed they seized VoIP equipment worth Tk 50 lakh from the house of AccessTel owner on Road-105 of Gulshan-2 in the city yesterday.

Grameenphone authorities last night said “some additional irregularities were found” regarding Grameenphone providing special services to illegal VoIP operators.

Lt Khandaker Al Moin of Rab's intelligence wing told The Daily Star last night, "Earlier, we raided the Grameenphone office and found that customers used Grameenphone's SIMs [subscriber identity module] to run VoIP businesses."

He said at that time Grameenphone denied they were involved in the act. "Now we have found evidence of Grameenphone's direct involvement," Moin said.

Major Shamsuzzoha, who was leading the drive, told reporters at the Grameenphone head office last night that they have seized technical data showing Grameenphone's involvement in the act.

He said earlier Grameenphone gave them some information but during the raid they became sure that Grameenphone had also concealed information.

He said they started the operation at different buildings in Gulshan where Grameenphone is housed. "It could be morning [today morning] before the search is complete," he said.

A representative of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) accompanied the Rab personnel during the raid.

In October, BTRC found Grameenphone's illegal VoIP operation at its Moghbazar office in the capital during a drive. It fined Grameenphone Tk 168.40 crore for illegal VoIP business.

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