The Minister of Communications Dr Edward K. Omane Boamah has vowed to smoke out all sim box fraudsters in the country.
According to the National Communications Authority (NCA) sim box fraud takes place when individuals or organizations illegally terminate a voice call which is the preserve of registered licensed network operators, usually at lower cost than the approved rates.
These are then used to channel national or international calls away from licensed international gateway operators and presented as local calls on unlicensed networks.
Government as part of moves to deal with the matter set up an anti fraud task force, despite its commendable efforts there still appears to be some significant level of sim box fraud.
Ghana has so far lost over US$50million through the actions of SIMBOX fraudsters.
Commending the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Anti-Fraud Task Force for the arrest of the SIMBOX fraudsters from a location at Dome Pillar 2 on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 minister of Communications Dr Omane Boamah said government will go at all lengths to deal with sim box fraudsters in the country.
‘The exercise by our security agencies should send a message that we are also prepared for them. We shall chase them and smoke them out of the ‘holes’ in which they are hiding’.
Over US$800,000 according to authorities was lost following the actions of the fraudsters that were arrested at Dome Pillar 2 on Tuesday.
Dr Omane Boahmah assures ‘Government is supporting the work of the Anti-Fraud Task Force with appropriate policies and regulatory actions to improve transparency in the telecommunications industry.
He also adds that the final acts of the world conference on the International telecommunications 2012 has provided a framework to guide the regulation of international telecommunications services that Ghana can take advantage of to enhance transparency and eliminate fraud within the Ghana telecommunications eco-system.
Meanwhile government has approved four new policies to regulate emerging value- added services. The licences are interconnect clearing house licence: with a potential to control the incidence of by- pass of incoming international telephone traffic to the country.
The others are international wholesale licence , unified access service licence and mobile virtual network operations licence (mvno)
According to Dr Omane Boahmah the ‘introduction of the new licences will expand the range of value-added, services, especially the introduction of premium services by third party content providers. They will encourage competition and grant a level and fair playing field within the communications eco-system’.
‘The improved interconnection regime will ensure high quality of service delivery to consumers and the positive impacts include benefits of expanded access to communication services. With these policy guidelines, and others in the pipeline, it is our expectation that the communications landscape will respond to the challenges, including the SIMBOXing menace and ensure that it opens up the opportunities for national development and local entrepreneurship’.
By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana