Pre-registered SIM card users risk arrest because they pose security threats, the Federal Government has warned phone subscribers.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), telecoms companies, agents and dealers have also been warned over sales and use of pre-registered SIM cards in the country, as they risk arrest and prosecution.
Efosa Idehen, Director of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC, who gave this warning at recent regional sensitization workshop on “Dangers of Dealing on Fraudulently Activated SIM cards” in Gombe says the act is ans “unacceptable illegality that pose serious threat to national security.”
The NCC Director, represented by his deputy, Salihu Abdu, observes that despite Federal Government’s efforts to curb the danger, “we still have cases of sale of pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, breach of SIM registration processes, fraudulent registrations and other breaches.”
According to him, “some unscrupulous people abuse the connectivity to make life difficult for others, hence the NCC organised several meetings and sensitisation workshops with different stakeholder groups across the industry at different points in time need to carry out basic know-your-customer processes on our users to address these concerns.”
Notwithstanding its efforts to check the use of pre-registered SIM card by ensuring that some registration agents were arrested, machines confiscated, huge caches of fully activated SIMs confiscated, suspects prosecuted, fines imposed, among others, Idehen says that “the criminal sale and usage of pre-and improperly-registered SIMs in every nook and cranny of the country persists.”
Idehen says that use of pre-registered SIM card negates the registration exercise designed to facilitate identification of mobile telephone users, “as globally connectivity creates huge opportunities for citizens.”
However, some agents of mobile networks produce fully-activated SIM cards with fraudulent details and sell same to customers, Idehen says noting that “such an act is totally unacceptable. NCC has arrested some agents and they have been charged to court. We are not going to compromise on the issue of driving those involved in the practice out of market.”