Mobile operators directed to obtain SIMBOX detection tool

By Nicholas Nduati

Mobile phone service providers are now required to procure a SIMBOX detection tool capable of identifying illegally routed international calls as local calls.

Communications Authority Director General Francis Wangusi directed providers to disconnect any SIM cards used for SIM boxing activities.

Cases of sim box fraud are on the rise after police on Wednesday raided an illegal sim box communication system in Lavington which led to the arrest of one person just a month a similar system was seized at 680 Hotel.

The fairly new form of high-tech crime involves the use of sim boxes that hold up to 36 sim cards at a time and can simultaneously make calls.

Persons involved in this crime route incoming international calls to appear as local calls and cash in on the amount foreign mobile service providers pay them for the calls in the country to the disadvantage of local mobile operators.

To address the issue, CA has made it mandatory for all mobile phone service providers to secure their network of such illegal activities as well as disconnect the sim-cards of culprits.

In addition, CA also plans to acquire relevant equipment that will pinpoint specific locations for SIM boxing activities.

Wangusi says penalties for such a crime are too lenient and need to be reviewed for persons making up to 38 million shillings a month from illegal communications.

Wangusi says Simbox connections are to a certain extent contributing to the persistent poor quality of voice services in the country and poses major security concerns.



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