MTN Ghana, in collaboration with an anti-fraud team made up of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, National Communications Authority (NCA) and other telecom service providers, recently nabbed two suspects engaged in a SIM Box syndicate operating at Dome Pillar 2, Accra.
Briefing the media on the swoop, Prosper Agblo, Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Ghana Police Service said, ‘The suspects have been operating for six months at Dome Pillar Two. A total of two million minutes of international calls to Ghana were diverted. This resulted in a loss of $836,000 to both the Government and the telecoms service providers. Additionally, electronic equipment, 1,006 SIM cards, 954 new and unused SIM cards, and 100 unused recharge cards belonging to telecom’s operators were also retrieved.’
Nixon Wampamba, Revenue Assurance Senior Manager, at MTN, revealed that MTN was losing about $600,000 per month due to SIM Box fraud.
He further explained that MTN had contracted an external company to trace and identify SIM Box operators whose activities inconvenience subscribers, hamper growth of MTN’s business and affect the economy as a whole as a result of revenue loss.
Prosper Agblo, Director-General of CID said, ‘Persons engaged in these fraudulent activities should desist from doing so because the Police in collaboration with our stakeholders are up in arms against these fraudulent activities.’
The Minister of Communications, Dr. Omane Boamah, who was also in attendance, commended all the collaborators, especially MTN, Ghana Police-CID, National Communication Authority and the Telecoms Chamber for their vigilance in bringing the culprits to book.
He reiterated the government’s efforts at supporting the reduction and total elimination SIM Boxing through appropriate regulatory actions and reforms, and implementation of recommendations from ITU.
Between 2010 and August 2014, a total of 13 SIM Box fraud cases have been recorded, and17 suspects, both Ghanaians and foreign nationals, have also been arrested. Cumulatively a total amount of $50million has been lost to both government and the telecom service providers, with MTN being the biggest loser.
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