NCC goes hard on peddlers of unregistered SIM cards, arrests over 200

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There are indications that over 200 suspects have been arrested over the use of unregistered or pre-registered SIM cards, in a new clampdown effort by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) across the country.

Findings by BusinessDay show that the suspects, many of whom were being prosecuted before various courts, were apprehended between January 2017 and April 2019.

A source at the NCC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the arrests were made by the SIM Registration Task Force set up by the agency to arrest perpetrators of the act.

The source, who lamented the threat unregistered SIM cards posed to national security, said the NCC’s monitoring department had continued to undertake sensitisation campaigns aimed at exposing the danger of indulging in such acts.

“What we are doing now is scrubbing and verification of SIM cards that are circulating today. NCC has made arrests and some people are already in court. In fact, more than 200 people have been prosecuted. There are cases of prosecution going on and several arrests have been made.

“Our compliant and monitoring department is carrying out sensitisation campaigns in the regions to tell people about the dangers of using pre-registered or ill-registered SIM cards, and the network operators too have been advised to disable every SIM card that has economic activity(ies) that is not registered,” the source said.

BusinessDay learns from another source that the targets of arrests were the sellers of the unregistered and pre-registered cards.

His words: “People need to be aware because if there is no buyer, there would be no seller. That is why we are carrying out a nationwide campaign to educate the populace on the dangers of using unregistered, pre registered or ill properly registered SIM cards.

“Those selling are the ones that …