August 16, 2016 - 8:58am
Aiming to curb any type of telephone-based crime, the government is going to take stern action against mobile phone operators for pre-activated subscriber identity modules (SIMs), reports the BSS.
The government has put concentration on it following the seizure of huge number of pre-activated SIMs in the markets which was not supposed to be available after the successful completion of biometric verification of ownership.
Cautioning the operators for the pre-activated SIMs, state minister for post and telecommunication Tarana Halim said they are going to ask the
telecom regulator to "fine $50 for each pre-activated SIM" available in the market from next week.
"I will stop it (pre-activated SIM) anyhow if I am..." vowed the state minister while raise the issue before her.
She said people of the country enduring hitches have completed biometric verification to ensure ownership of their SIMs. "It shouldn't be allowed to go in vain for few unscrupulous people."
Bangladesh has completed biometric SIM verification on May 31 this year which was began on December 16 last year. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regularity Commission (BTRC), currently the country has 13.13 crore mobile phone subscribers with six mobile phone operators.
Meanwhile, the regulator has collected details of the SIM retailers and others linked to the biometric registration process.
Immediately, after the completion of the biometric campaign, on June 8, recently, police in a drive in the capital arrested seven retailers for allegedly selling pre-activated SIMs, registered in the name of other persons, and seized 13 such SIMs from their possession.
Besides, on July 24, detective branch (DB) of police seized nearly 4,000 illegally registered SIMs, which were being sold in the market, and arrested seven people for their alleged involvement from Reazuddin Bazar area of Chittagong city.
Talking to BSS, Ekram Kabir, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Robi Axiata Limited, said they have formed a team to monitor the issue.
"We've taken the issue seriously and eagerly waiting to work with the government," he added.