CAK cracks down on SIMbox fraudsters
The Kenyan telecoms regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya, has swooped on alleged SIMbox fraudsters in Nairobi, in its latest crackdown on this type of fraud.
The Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya, Francis Wangusi, said in a statement that CAK investigations had confirmed certain individuals were carrying out illegal activities with regards to international telephone traffic termination using equipment popularly known as SIMBOX. “In response, the Authority has today taken swift enforcement action against one of these illegal operations in the Nairobi Central Business District.”
Wangusi said Internet Protocol (IP) technology had heralded the emergence of alternative communication systems such as Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) which presented an arbitrage opportunity for people to make and receive International calls fairly cheaply by bypassing the traditional international voice communication systems. “This kind of communication, often referred to as grey traffic termination, is facilitated through the establishment of illegal equipment setup known as a SIMBOX,” he explained. “This is the setup we raided today in the Nairobi Central Business District and dismantled the illegal equipment.”
“You may wish to note that the termination charges for international calls are higher than those for local termination and therefore certain unscrupulous persons have been capitalising on these differences by re-routing international calls through the Internet and dumping them on the local networks disguised as local calls and cashing on the termination price margins.
Through these illegal activities, legitimate operators have been losing out on income opportunities in respect of international incoming calls. In respect of the illegal setup we have found today, the losses incurred by the operators, which is dependent on the volume of the illegal traffic terminated, and which will require further analysis to establish, could run into millions of shillings. Furthermore, SIM boxing compromises the quality of service of the local operators’ networks."
He said: "Of further concern is the fact that an illegal SIMBOX operator, in a bid to avoid detection, often manipulates the calling line identification (CLI) thereby presenting a major security concern since it is difficult to trace such calls.”