The Ministry of Communications (MoC) has announced that provisions have been made to block all pre-registered and fraudulently registered SIM cards.

According to the Ministry, the initiative being taken is as a result of the deficiencies in the existing SIM card registration process which is noted to have facilitated criminal activities such as mobile money fraud, illegal SIM swap, impersonation, illegal termination of international traffic, leading to loss of revenue to the state and cyber crime.

As a result of this, the MoC has made relevant statutory provisions which subscribers and Mobile Network Operators need to comply by.

The provisions include:

  1. Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulation 2016 (L. I. 2006) which governs the responsibility related to SIM registration and mandates the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards.
  2. Section 73(a) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act, 2016 (Act 910) which prohibits the use of SIM cards to terminate international calls as local calls, empowers the NCA to issue directives to MNO’s to prevent, detect and make this illegal termination of calls subject to a term of imprisonment or fine.
  3. Section 73(b) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act, 2016 (Act 910) also criminalises the use of pre-registered SIM cards for any purpose and makes it an offense punishable by a fine of not more than 3000 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not more than 5years or both.

However, to verify if your number is legitimately registered with your network provider to avoid disconnection, please dial *400#.

The Ministry of Communications has assured the public that it is committed to building a strong, secure and resilient communications industry for the benefit of all and as a result it will ensure the full implementation of the laws.