National Security: NCC operatives arrest 5 suspects over pre-registered SIM cards

*The Nigerian Communications Commission has arrested five suspects for fraudulent registration and sale of Subscriber Identity Module cards, saying pre-registering SIM cards is an offence punishable under relevant telecom regulations and constitutes a breach of national security

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the regulator’s continued routine enforcement activities to sanitise the Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry of criminal elements, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has arrested five suspected individuals for allegedly engaging in fraudulently registering and selling Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs of NCC, in a statement Thursday, April 22, 2021, said the hitch-free operation was carried out by a joint team from the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department of the Commission, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Tuesday in the Wuse area of Abuja, FCT.

The Director of Public Affairs noted the arrested suspects were subsequently handed over to the NSCDC Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command at Wuse for further investigation with respect to the allegations leveled against them.

The statement said Salisu Abdu, Head of Enforcement at NCC, who led the joint enforcement exercise, while commenting on the enforcement operation, disclosed the exercise was part of the routine activities by the Commission to rid the industry of criminal elements engaging in fraudulent registration of SIM cards in the country.

Abdu stressed that pre-registering a SIM card is an offence punishable under relevant regulations in the telecom sector and constitutes a breach of national security.

He stated: “It is criminal and fraudulent to pre-register a SIM card in Nigeria and it is an offence punishable under the law.

“Though the Federal Government recently lifted the ban on sale of new SIM cards, it should be noted that proper registration of SIM cards and linking them to National Identity Number (NIN) before activation has now become a prerequisite.”

Abdu warned those who are engaged in the unlawful registration of SIM cards to desist from the illegal act.

The Commission will continue to collaborate with relevant law enforcement agencies in its routine enforcement activities in order to rid the industry of individuals, who have resolved to contravene SIM registration regulations, said he.

The NCC Head of Enforcement noted the enforcement activities would continue in other locations across the FCT and other states of the country.

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