Elante hoax call: Caller spoofed Dubai-based man’s number

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Chandigarh, August 14: In the Monday’s bomb hoax at Elante, it has emerged that the caller might have spoofed the identity of a person based in Dubai. The calls were made via Gsoft Technologies, an internet gateway, which has said that the calls were directed to it by Portugal-based Cavoxnet Ltd,  another provider of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.

“The identity of the person against whose name the number is issued is different from that of the telephone from which the call was made. We have traced the person in Dubai but he is innocent and has no role in making the hoax call,” said Nilambari Jagadale, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Chandigarh. The caller had used the number 0069801018.

Sources said the Chandigarh crime branch and special cell of the Delhi Police have traced a woman who was using the said number. When contacted, she claimed to be the wife of the Dubai-based man. “The woman is a homemaker and was grilled till late evening. She revealed that she uses the number to call her husband. The phone of her husband is switched off and attempts are being made to trace him. He will be called to Chandigarh,” said a police official privy to the matter.

On Monday, a call, which turned out to be a hoax, sent the security personnel in a tizzy and led to emergency evacuation of thousands of shoppers at Elante mall. The call was received by the police control room around 1:10pm. The call was made using voice over internet protocol (VoIP), which allows a person to make voice calls using an internet connection instead of a regular phone line.

A case has been registered against the unidentified person under Sections 182 (false information with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the inquiry of another person), 268 (public nuisance), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) at the Industrial Area police station. The mall was reopened for public around 5:30pm after a go-ahead from police. However, a three-tier security check was put in place.

 Gateway used to make calls identified

Police said two calls were received at the police control room on Monday, the second call came through Vodafone network. Investigators on Tuesday have traced down the website, which was used as a platform to make the call via internet. “The call was made via, Gsoft Technologies, which is a gateway. The website has been contacted to provide further details about the user and the IP address,” said Jagadale.  

Sources said Gsoft in its reply said calls were directed to them by Cavoxnet Ltd,  another provider of VoIP services based in Portugal. The reply of the companies is pending.