The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says that four persons have been arrested with pre-registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in Abuja.
The enforcement team was led by Mr. Salisu Abdu, NCC’s Head of Enforcement, together with officers of the Nigerian Police Force found four persons with the pre-registered SIM cards in Abuja, the telecoms regulator announced in a statement.
The NCC enforcement exercise against the sale and use of pre-registered SIM is expected to continue and spread to other parts of the country, NCC said.
Pre-registered SIM cards are mobile phone SIM cards that have already been registered with the personal information of unknown individuals and are ready to for use.
The sale and use of pre-registered SIM cards is a criminal offense, punishable under Nigerian laws.
Under the NCC regulation, any telecoms licensee who fails to capture, register, deregister or transmit the details of any individual or corporate subscribers to the Central Database as specified in these Regulations or as may be stipulated from time to time by the Commission is liable to a penalty of N200,000.00 for each subscription medium.
Recently, Technology Times published a report on why it is illegal to use pre-registered SIM cards. The telecoms watchdog noted that that despite regulations and directives against the sale and use of pre-registered SIM cards, operators through their dealers/agents are still selling pre-registered SIM cards in several parts of the country.
Consequently, NCC drew the attention of the operators and their dealers as well as the general public to Sections 19 and 20 of the Nigerian Communications Commission (Registration of Telephone Subscribers) Regulations, 2011, the enabling law that makes it a criminal act.