More arrests made over sale of re-registered SIM




With agencies More arrests have been made by the team of (NCC) and Lagos Command of the Corps (NSCDC) over sale of pre registered Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards.
The NCC viewed the sale or use of preregistered SIM cards as an offense attracting a fine or jail term or both.
An indicted telecom company risks a N200, 000 fine for every preregistered card.
Efforts had been on by the telecom to put a stop to the trend but it’s still on in some part of the country.
Telecoms companies like MTN had received the big stick over pre registered SIM in the past.
NCC has warned Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) against hiring agents that will put them into trouble through the peddling of pre-registered SIM cards.
NCC reechoed this warning in Lagos at the weekend after a three-day raid on some identified hot spots for the sale of pre-registered SIM cards.
The raid led to the arrest of some suspects including an elderly woman.
NCC head of enforcement unit Salisu Abdu while addressing journalists said it is a great challenge, “but our fight against pre-registered SIM cards scam is yielding results.” According to him, there have been several complaints from the office of the National Security Adviser about the prevalence of preregistered SIM cards at some locations in Lagos.
“We visited Computer village, markets in Ikorodu and also 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 we were able to buy only one Airtel SIM card from a mobile agent.
“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 two locations.
We went to Alaba International market and Orile market along Badagry Expressway.
“In Alaba market we purchased a preregistered SIM card from a Globacom agent and in Orile we found pre-registered SIM cards on a market woman who in fact was seated with a lot of SIM cards being sold to members of the public.
Abdu stressed that, “It’s that same cards that criminals are using to commit a lot of crime and you can now understand why it had sometimes been difficult for security operatives in the course of their investigations of criminal offences to identify people who have actually committed such crimes.
“The last day of the raid of phone markets in Lagos was concentrated largely on the Saka Tinubu market in Victoria Island where two more persons who were found selling preregistered SIM cards were picked up by the combined team of NSCDC and NCC officials.
“Abdu said investigations are currently ongoing to know where the agents are getting the pre-registered SIM cards.
I’m sure the old woman and some of the persons arrested are not the ones doing the registration.
There must be somebody who is supplying the SIM cards to them.
We will need to find out the people who are behind it.” When asked if there could be any secret involvement of some service providers in the pre-registered SIM card scam, he said, “They are in some respects because we have been trying to inform them that most of these challenges are coming from registration agents.
“So, we try as much as possible to warn them to ensure that they checkmate their registration agents.
At the end of the day, whichever SIM card we find on the street, we sanction them as well.
Even in this case, we will look into all the SIM cards we recovered in this exercise and ensure that we communicate necessary sanctions to the mobile operators,” he said

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