SIM box task team steps up successes with help from ICT firm
| Jan. 28, 2015, 8:07 a.m.
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Ghana’s efforts to crack down on SIM boxing fraud have been given a boost by the efforts of Subah Infosolutions Ghana Limited, which now partners with the authorities in the fight against this crime.
Subah Infosolutions has been contracted by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to assist in blocking revenue leakages in the system through monitoring, locating, identifying and apprehending illegal SIM Box operators across the country. The company’s assistance in surveillance is credited with helping the Joint Anti-Telecom Fraud Task force chalk up a number of successes so far this year. The task force includes detectives from the CID Headquarters, officials from the National Communications Authority (NCA) and officials from the various Telecoms Service Providers.
Among the successful operations so far this year are:
KOFORIDUA- Eastern Regional Capital
On January 10, 2015, the operation led to the arrest of Ebenezer Boateng, Victor Owusu and Kwadjo Asare who hosted 4 SIM box equipments in one of the offices in the SSNIT Office Complex in Koforidua and were illegally terminating international call traffic. Other items seized from the suspects were three heavy duty batteries, one small generator and large quantities of assorted scratch cards of various Telecom Service Providers, four internet routers, one Dell monitor, one Dell CPU, one ACP battery backup, and three laptop computers.
ACCRA- Ghana’s capital city
On January 14, 2015, the Task Force traced and seized 3 SIM box equipments, 3 SIM Servers, a 4G Modem, 1 printer and 1 Laptop from a house at North Kaneshie but there was no arrest. However, the suspects are being pursued and would be brought to book when arrested.
BATSONAA – A suburb of Accra
On January 15, 2015, the Task Force seized one SIM BOX with a 64-slot SIM server, 4G Internet Modem, 1 laptop computer and mini Antennas from a residence at Baatsona, Manet area. Three persons namely; Emmanuel Kofi Essilfie, Edmond Essilfie and Kwaku Appiah were arrested but they denied knowledge of the gadgets and mentioned Alexander Tweneboah, owner of the house as the owner of the equipment. Alexander Tweneboah was subsequently traced and arrested. He claimed ownership of the equipment and admitted using them to terminate international calls illegally.
This is one of the biggest and most successful operations embarked upon by the taskforce as far as SIM Box fraud is concerned. Eight SIM Box operators were busted. Thousands of SIM Cards were recovered. From one SIM Box operator alone21,232 SIM cards were recovered.
KUMASI – Ghana’s second capital city in the Ashanti Region
On January 16, 2015, the task force arrested Alvin Habib and Francis Abbey at Asafo in Kumasi where they also mounted a four-SIM box equipment in their residence terminating international call traffic. Two power inverters, six heavy duty batteries, small internal antennas and quantity of Glo and Vodafone SIM CARDS were also seized from the suspects.
On the same day at Gyinyaase in Kumasi, the Task Force made a seizure of a 128-slot Sim Bank [X2], six SIM clients and Servers, two CISCO Routers, one Satellite Earth Receiver System, one UPS/Battery Bank and an Inverter but there was no arrest made.
TEMA – Ghana’s Port city within the Greater Accra Region
On January 16, 2015, the Task Force seized twelve GOIP SIM box equipment and its accessories, one inverter and a computer from a building near the Fishing Harbour in Tema. The caretaker of the building, David Ayitsi was arrested and he mentioned Daniel Nehme, a Lebanese national and a notorious SIM box operator as the owner of the equipment. It would be recalled that on January 2, 2013, the same Daniel Nehme was arrested at La, Accra together with one Jalal Hosaife who is now deceased for SIM Box offences and were put before court, Daniel Nehme absconded after he had been granted bail only to relocate to Tema and continue the crime with impunity. Efforts are being made to get him re-arrested.