Police in Nigeria arrest illegal SIM card manufacturers

Officers from the Nigeria Police Force and operatives from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday arrested several individuals suspected to be producing counterfeit SIM cards using fake identities in the capital Abuja.

The team clamped down on the suspects, who were operating from the premises of Correspondence Nigeria Limited on Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent.

The arrests, according to the head of media and public affairs of the NCC, Reuben Muoka, are in line with the commission’s determination to rid Nigerian streets of pre-registered SIM cards. Several arrests have been made across the nation.

“We’ve made quite a number of arrests across Nigeria and the commission has decided to get to the root from those who are selling to the dealers who are activating the SIM cards because we are aware those in the streets are not the ones registering it,” he said.

The head of enforcement at the NCC, Efosa Idehen, said the commission is leaving “no stone unturned” in ensuring members of the public are adequately informed about the illegal SIMs.

“We’ve been informing Nigerians about the illegitimacies of buying pre-registered SIM. The identities of those who register them are not shown on the SIM cards. In the past, we went after those hawking the SIMs on the streets, now we are on the next phase; we are going after the chain that supplies these machines,” Idehen said.

NCC has kicked off a series of campaigns across the nation, which the head of enforcement said would help “rid the system of the fraudulent people who register SIM and sell them to unsuspecting buyers”.

The law, Ideye said, would decide the fate of those arrested. “We are taking them before the law. We are not saying they are guilty, the law will decide that,” he said.

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