4 SIM Boxes confiscated and 2044 SIM cards collected

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Alireza Khaliqyar

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The Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory (ATRA) confiscated (4) SIM Boxes in the tenth district of Kabul city and collected a total of 2044 SIM cards on Kabul city streets.
ATRA, as per the provisions of the Telecom Services Regulation Law, is the solely responsible authority to regulate and supervise issues related to the Telecom sector in the country, and it works in an independent, transparent, purposeful and non-discriminatory manner within the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
ATRA, since its establishment, has enacted Telecom Services Regulation Law, procedures and policies so as to supervise and regulate the Telecom market and it applies them in a continuous manner. Following its activities, 4 SIM Boxes were confiscated in the tenth district of Kabul city as we all a total of 2044 SIMs were collected on Kabul city streets on October/ 17/2011.
On October/ 17/2011. ATRA was informed that a number of people had illegally installed Telecom equipment in the tenth of Kabul city which was used without any authorizing license. Receiving report, the supervising team of ATRA in collaboration with law enforcement bodies spontaneously went to operation area. After going to the area, they found that (4) SIM Boxes were used to illegally provide Telecom services.
The complex team seized illegal equipment and carried the equipment to ATRA. Each of the SIM Boxes has capacity of (32) SIMs so that (4) SIM Boxes totally have capacity of (128) SIMs. In addition to the SIM Boxes, the team sequestered ( 59) items of the Telecom accessories, a total of (540) used SIMs of Etisalat, ( 740) used SIMs of MTN, (55) used SIMs of Roshan and (1) used SIM of AWCC. Two
Bangladeshi, who are the owners of the SIM Boxes and were operating them, were taken to the Tenth District of the Police Station.
Using the above mentioned accessories, the perpetrators have gone against the law as follows:
1. Provided Telecom services without any authorizing license.
2. Used frequency illicitly.
3. Imported Telecom equipment without having ATRA approval.
4. Inflicted Telecom Companies as well as the government thousands of USD loss.
5. Would have done anti security activities through carrying out illegal calls.
6. Lowered quality of service of the Telecom Companies in the country, using the above mentioned equipment.
Non-registration of the SIMs is one of the major, existing problems in the telecom market of the country. Thus, SIM cards which are sold on the streets lawlessly create many security problems to the citizens of the country. Based on the request of the security organs and understanding this issue, ATRA enacted procedure of the SIM registration. However, the Telecom Companies were committed over past years to register their SIMS when selling, the result is still unsuccessful.
On 30/05/1390, a meeting was subsequently held under chairmanship of Acting Minister of Communications and Information Technology, members of the ATRA Board and CEOs of the Telecom Companies in which they discussed and reached an agreement about a mechanism on SIM registration. As a result of this meeting, the companies were committed and obliged to stop selling SIMs on streets of the capital and provinces.
In presence of representatives of the Telecom companies, the supervising team of ATRA in collaboration with Counter-crime Directorate of Ministry of Interior Affairs seized a total of (2044) SIMs, including (257) SIMs of AWCC, (707) SIMs of Roshan, (554) SIMs of MTN and (526) SIMs of Etisalat, which were sold without registering the customers.
When a person provides Telecom services, uses frequency or imports Telecom equipment illegally and does not apply SIM Registration Procedure when selling SIMs on streets, they are obligated to pay cash fine in accordance with the provisions of the Telecom Services Regulation Law. The issue has been referred to the Board of ATRA and any actions are to be taken based on the provisions of the said law.
With Regards,
Ministry of Communication & IT