The Noida Cyber Cell has filed an FIR and arrested four persons, including an executive of Altruist, the company that offers VAS products, in connection with a phone sex racket, reports The Indian Express. According to the report, the Police has named Airtel in the FIR as it failed to monitor the VAS product on its network which was outsourced to Altruist. Airtel was also allegedly sending customers to send text messages asking them to avail the service. So it appears that the Police found that Altruist was running a phone sex service in the guise of a chat line. The complaint was filed by one of the customers, who also managed to get the number of a woman who he was talking to on the chat line.
Cases under IPC Sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and under Section 66-B of the IT Act, as well as violations of TRAI guidelines have been registered against the companies, as per the report. The report mentions that the Police has arrested Ashutosh Gupta, the general manager of Altruist; call centre executives Rakesh and Mukesh; and one of the women who used to speak to the company’s clients.
About Altruist: Founded in 2005, Altruist Group was founded by brothers Dheeraj and Anuj Aggarwal. The company provides voice and web based value added services (VAS), business process outsourcing, mobile advertising, among others to telecom operators. Its clients in India includes Uninor, Virgin, Vodafone, Aircel, MTS, S-Tel, and Tata Docomo. Apart from providing value added services to telecom providers, Altruist also provides M-Governance, Handset based applications and a Video sharing platform.
The company had recently acquired Sweden based Teligent Telecom, another VAS player, in an all cash deal. It had also reportedly acquired Mobisoft (PhoneyTunes) in November 2011. Altruist had previously acquired RelayStrategy – a mobile applications and IT solutions development company. It had also bought 20% stake in Vegam Solutions – a mobile VAS Retail and voice gaming company,last year. The company had acquired Media2win in an all stock deal, following which the two had merged.