Depending on which country you’re in, when you purchase a SIM card you need to submit some form of identification so that should the authorities ever need to investigate something they can contact you. In Finland, you don’t have this silly rule. In India and China, you do. Most people around the world have just one SIM card, and thus one mobile phone, but there’s a growing number of folks who prefer having two devices, either because they want to have some semblance of a work/life balance, or because they need to cheat on their significant other without being caught. Anwar Bablu doesn’t fit into either of those two categories. Indian police arrested him because he was in possession of 100,000 SIM cards, a number that’s hard to wrap your head around because it’s difficult to imagine what a room full of 100,000 mobile phones looks like, or how heavy a plastic bag with 100,000 SIM cards weighs. Bablu had a side business whereby he would rent out SIM cards to individuals who would then return them when they no longer had a use for them. Once returned, he would rent out that SIM card again, which is puzzling if you’re one of the people who has such a SIM card and all of a sudden you start receiving phone calls and text messages from strangers.
The bigger question is should India repeal their relatively new law that dictates each SIM card should be tied to an individual? Bablu is most certainly an outlier with 100,000 SIM cards, but we suspect there are other smaller players in numerous Indian cities who provide the same service. Curbing terrorist attacks, drug deals, and other illegal activities is a noble goal, but people will always find a way to get around government regulations. Bablu and others like him profit from that.