CC Image courtesy of Ricardo Moctezuma.
A growing operation in the country, illegal SIM card operation costs the Ghanaian government approximately GHS40 million (US$19.5 million).
Prosper Kwame Agblor, commissioner of police (COP) and director of general criminal investigations department (CID), spoke about illegal SIM usage at a media conference in Accra.
He said the CID’s task force, in collaboration with the National Communications Authority and network operators will “clamp down on the activities of the illegal SIM card operations”, Ghana News Agency reported.
Making reference to 11 cases since October 2010, the arrest of a Ghanaian-born Italian who ran illegal SIM card operations in Accra for 18 months, costing the authorities US$12 million was mentioned as an example.
According to Agblor, the particular case led to the sentence of six operators, one Nigerian and five Ghanaians.
Equipment seized included five GoIP SIM card systems, three SIM card machines and one uninterrupted power supply (UPS) used for illegal activity.
Omane Edward Boamah, minister of communication, warned telecommunication service
providers to be careful about the registration of SIM cards.
“Nobody and no corporate institution would be spared on this matter,” he said.
Thanking the task force for their work, he emphasised the urgency of all parties to stand together against SIM card crime.