Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has apprehended four suspects involved in selling pre-registered SIM cards in Jigawa. Mr Salisu Abdu, NCC’s Head of Enforcement Unit, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Dutse yesterday.
Abdu said that the suspects were arrested at Hakimi Street and Dutse new market, Dutse, the state capital, in collaboration with the state’s Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
He said that the suspects were apprehended after the commission received an intelligence report about their activities in the area.
The official said that the NCC was the sole regulator of all telecommunication companies in Nigeria.
According to him, the commission was also able to confiscate about 70 pre-registered SIM cards during the operation.
Abdu said that the commission had in 2010 issued directives that new SIM cards must be registered before being activated for one’s personal use.
“As you know, NCC is the sole regulator of telecommunication industry in Nigeria.
“So, we are in Jigawa today as part of our regulatory functions.
“We received a security report that there is prevalence of pre-registered SIM cards being sold to the members of the public.
“You may understand that pre-registered SIM cards are SIM cards that are already registered by proxy and sold to individuals who are interested.
“These pre-registered SIM cards are mostly used by insurgents, armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals,” the official said.
He said that the NCC as regulatory body had done a lot in the area of SIM card registration through the supervision of SIM card registration across the country
He noted that after the 2010 directives, a lot of engagements were made by the commission to ensure that they were complied with.
“Today in Jigawa, based on the security report, we, in collaboration with the NSCDC, have apprehended four suspects involved in the sales of pre-registered SIM cards.
“We have handed them over to the Civil Defence Corps for necessary investigation and prosecution,” he said.
Abdu, therefore, warned people to desist from buying such pre-registered SIM cards, pointing out that they were mostly used by criminals.
“Nigerians should stop buying and selling these type of SIM cards.
“They are mostly used by criminals such as insurgents, kidnappers and armed robbers and they may one day kidnap, rob or kill someone close to you,” he warned.