NCC Cracks Down On Sale Of Pre-Registered SIM Cards
NCC Cracks Down On Sale Of Pre-Registered SIM Cards – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) against the sale of pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.
NCC gave this warning in Lagos at the weekend after a three-day raid on some identified spots where pre-registered SIM cards were sold. Some suspects, including an elderly woman, were arrested.
The raid came three weeks after it had been reported how agents were spotted selling pre-registered SIM cards in Ikeja, Ikotun, Yaba, Oshodi and Abuja, among others, despite several warnings from the regulator.
Head, Enforcement Unit of NCC, Salisu Abdu, addressing journalists, described the menace as huge.
“But our fight against pre-registered SIM cards scam is yielding results,” he added.
Abdu noted that there had also been several complaints from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) about the prevalence of pre-registered SIM cards in Lagos.
“We visited Computer Village in Lagos, markets in Ikorodu and Bariga with the objective of identifying where this sale of pre-registered SIM cards is on-going. Fortunate enough, it is only in Computer Village that we were able to buy one pre-registered Airtel SIM card.
“On the second day of the exercise, with the help of the Lagos Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), some arrests were made. We went to Alaba International and Orile markets along Badagry expressway.
At Alaba, we purchased one from a Globacom agent and at Orile we found many on a market woman. Criminals use those cards to perpetrate evil. You can now understand why it had sometimes been difficult for security operatives, in the course of their investigations, to identify people who have actually committed such crimes.
Checks revealed that competition among the operators was a major factor fuelling the menace. Also, some Nigerians, ignorant of the dangers, prefer to buy pre-registered cards, rather than spend a few minutes inputting their details into the database.
NCC viewed the sale or use of pre-registered SIM card as an offence, attracting a fine and/or jail term. An indicted telecom company risks an N200, 000 fine for every pre-registered card.