Paul Obi in Abuja
As part of the strategy to discourage the sale of pre- registered sim cards in the country, the enforcement team of the Nigerian Communica- tions Commission (NCC), yesterday in Makurdi, Benue State, arrested five persons link with the sales and distribution of pre-registered SIM Cards, an act which is illegal and punishable under the laws guiding SIM Card registration in the country.
The team, with a contingent of other law enforcement agen- cies, stormed Wurukun Market and Modern Market both in Makurdi, where the arrests of the suspects took place. They were in possession of sacks of pre-registered SIM Cards, while selling to unsuspecting users.
Head of Enforcement of NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen, who led the team, told reporters the issue of sale, distribution or use of pre-registered SIM Cards is illegal and that the commission has given ample warning to the public about the dangers of using Pre-registered SIM Card.
According to Idehen, a number of arrests have been made in different parts of the country by the enforcement team of the Commission while the Commission has at the same time mounted enlightenment campaigns in various languages across the country to ensure that this illegality is nipped to the bud.
Pre-registered SIM Cards are those in which the biometric identity of a different person is used to register a number of SIM Cards, and then sold to different people such that identity of the user is not same with the one who registered the SIM.
Meanwhile, NCC manage- ment said any new SIM Card purchased must be detached from its pack and registered by the user, as nobody is allowed to register new SIM on behalf of another.
Also, all new SIM Cards are expected to be able to receive only until it is registered by the user after purchase but in the case of Pre-registered SIM Cards, they begin to make and receive calls instantly, which is contrary to the rules guiding SIM registration in the country.
To this end, NCC has also mandated any law enforce- ment agent to arrest anybody found dealing, selling or using Pre-registered SIM Card in the country