Five suspects have been arrested by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, over alleged fraudulent registration and sale of Subscriber Identity Module, SIM, Cards.
The Commission made the announcement via a statement on Thursday by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde.
According to NCC, the arrest was carried out by a joint team from the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department of the commission, operatives of the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the Wuse area of Abuja.
The statement read in part, “The arrested suspects were subsequently handed over to the NSCDC Federal Capital Territory Command, Wuse, Abuja for further investigation with respect to the allegations leveled against them.”
NCC’s Head of Enforcement, Salisu Abdu, who led the joint enforcement exercise, said the operation was part of the routine activities embarked upon by the commission to rid the industry of criminal elements engaging in fraudulent registration of SIM cards.
He said pre-registering a SIM card was an offence punishable under relevant regulations in the telecom sector and constitutes a breach of national security.
Abdu said, “It is criminal and fraudulent to pre-register a SIM card in Nigeria and it is an offence punishable under the law.
“Though the Federal Government recently lifted the ban on sale of new SIM cards, it should be noted that proper registration of SIM cards and linking them to National Identity Number before activation has now become a prerequisite.”
Abdu warned those who were engaged in the unlawful registration of SIM cards to desist from the illegal act, as the commission would continue to collaborate with relevant law enforcement agencies in its routine enforcement activities.
He said the enforcement exercise would continue in other locations in the FCT and other states across the country.