Telcos must reduce prices to stop SIM box fraud – Sakyi Addo

General News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Source: Starrfmonline.com

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The CEO at Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kwaku Sakyi Addo has called on the country’s mobile network operators to review their prices on international calls into Ghana to make SIM box fraud unattractive to fraudsters.

According to him, SIM box fraudsters are attracted to the operation due to the high cost of charges on international calls into the country.

An ex-president of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), Dr Alexander Tweneboah, was on Monday arrested for sponsoring the activities of SIM box fraudsters.

According to the police, Dr. Tweneboah has confessed to committing the crime and owning the devices used in the illegal activities.

The Director General of the CID, DCOP Prosper Ablorh said about GH¢100 million has gone down the drain due to such illegal activities.

Sakyi Addo told Citi FM Monday, that “SIM boxing is a law and order problem…it is a pricing problem; this is the position of the industry.

“If you remove the incentive that makes SIM boxing attractive then you will remove the problem, you would unearth the root cause of the problem.

“If you don’t unearth and eliminate that incentive for it, ten years from now we would be having these press conferences but it would not get to the bottom of it”.

Sakyi Addo added: “It costs 19 cents a minute to make a call into Ghana…so there is an incentive because the network operators are obliged to charge not less than 19 cents a minute for a call coming into Ghana [but] the SIM box fraudsters are terminating calls into Ghana for much less than that, so the network operators are uncompetitive and yet these people operating in the dark are terminating calls in the grey market through SIM boxing so people making calls oversees find the grey market more attractive because you can stay on the line for longer and for cheaper.

“It costs two hundred times more to call Ghana from the UK than it cost to call Nigeria, so there is no SIM box [fraud] in Nigeria because in Nigeria it costs 3 cent to call oversees…if you try to operate a SIM box fraud in Nigeria it won’t work, you won’t make any money therefore it doesn’t exist in Nigeria…same as in South Africa.

“So this our petition, we need to address the pricing differential between what is charged domestically and what is charged for international incoming calls”.

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