Shareholders, directors of companies to be sanctioned for SIM card fraud

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has indicated that shareholders and Directors of businesses will be sanctioned for any SIM card fraud detected on a registered card in the name of their business.

In addition to the upcoming registration of individual SIM cards, which would commence on October 1, all cards registered in the name of a business are to be linked to a shareholder or a director of that business.

Therefore, in any situation where such a business SIM card is “found to have been engaged in a fraudulent activity, the Shareholder or Director will be held liable,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, said at a briefing in Accra on Sunday, September 5.

She explained that the exercise, when undertaken correctly, would reduce or eliminate fraudulent and criminal activities, and support financial inclusion across the vulnerable sectors, thus, the informal sector of the economy.

It would also help authorities including mobile network operators to ascertain the accurate number of SIM cards on all networks.

Through this, mobile network operators would build better demographics of their customer base for the development of products and services to suit the various groupings.

The minister said this would culminate in the enhancement of “economic growth as more confidence is built in the telecommunications sector and people utilise secure devices to access e-government services and other private mobile-based digital solutions.”

“For the very first time in Ghana, there will be a SIM Register just like countries like Brazil, Germany and Switzerland, which will serve as a database giving comprehensive statistics regarding the number of subscribers in Ghana and providing a resource for tracking fraudsters and criminals,” she emphasised.

To the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA), the exercise is to enable them to get more accurate data to regulate the industry better.

Registration details

Individuals could register a total number of 10 SIM cards across all networks, while foreigners would have a limit of three SIM Cards across all networks.

The minister warned against doing registration more than permitted, and said, “let me caution here, that people should not think that they can hide behind Businesses and register as many SIM Cards as they want.”

For businesses to register SIMs in bulk, the operators would be required to verify the business registration documents with the Registrar General’s Department and verify the identity of the Shareholder or the Director for Limited Liability companies and public institutions respectively.

For Ghanaians, only the National Identity Card (Ghana Card) issued to an individual shall be used for the registration of SIM cards of Citizens.

Foreigners visiting Ghana can acquire a SIM Card using their passports or travel card, but they can only use the SIM Card for 30 days, after which it would be deactivated.

As such, foreigners intending to use a SIM Card for more than 30 days would have to obtain a non-citizen Ghana card to do so.

The exercise is in accordance with the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, LI 2006.

The six-months exercise would last till March 311, 2022, thereafter, any SIM card that is not registered would be blocked.

Accordingly, those who have registered but have not picked up their Ghana Cards have been urged to do so from the various NIA offices.

Regional and District Offices of the National Identification Authority (NIA) would be opened for people to register and have their Ghana cards, as well as the non-citizen Ghana card.

READ ALSO: SIM Card Registration Begins October 1

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