Police have disrupted what appears to have been a biometric identity fraud scheme in Mymensingh, Bangladesh.
Police were alerted to the operation through a tip, and proceeded with a nighttime raid of a rented apartment in the city, where they found VoIP equipment, fake documents, a biometric scanner, and thousands of biometric SIM cards. Three individuals were arrested and are being held for questioning.
It isn’t yet clear what the scheme entailed. A government initiative made biometric SIM card registration mandatory at the beginning of May in an effort to thwart crime involving fraudulently obtained mobile devices, and the SIM cards retrieved in the raid were reportedly uncertified; but given the presence of a biometric reader and numerous identity documents at the crime scene, it’s possible the suspects were attempting to emulate biometric registration themselves.
As for the providence of the SIM cards, they were from MNOs Grameenphone, Robi, and Airtel – this last being the biggest MNO in neighboring India, where it has been working with Safran to register the biometrics of its mobile subscribers.
June 30, 2016 – by Alex Perala