Visakhapatnam

Sale of unauthorised SIM cards comes to light

Probe ordered against employees of a private telecom firm for using KYC details of customers without their knowledge.

Beware your KYC (know your customer) details may be used by others without your knowledge. A case came to light where some employees of a private telecom service firm were allegedly involved in selling pre-paid GSM SIM cards by furnishing details of gullible customers without their authorisation.

Acting on a complaint filed by a former employee of the telecom service firm, the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has asked the Fourth Town Police (Dwaraka zone) to initiate an enquiry against 30 employees of a private telecom operator for allegedly involving in making wrong use of the KYC details of genuine customers to make unauthorised sales. The complainant claimed the 30-odd employees colluded with the distributors and retailers to make wrongful use of the identification details submitted by a genuine customer at the time of taking a prepaid GSM card, to boost up sales.

According to the First Investigation Report (FIR) lodged by the complainant, the accused with the intention of achieving the targets, were in the practice of selling pre-paid SIM cards to 10 different persons using the KYC and identification details of one genuine customer.

The counsel of the complainant said as per telecom regulations, every person was entitled to a maximum of 10 connections. The modus operandi was simple. Whenever a genuine customer gave his or her identification details, a copy is sent to TRAI, DGP State Police, CID and Union Home Ministry. “The activation of the SIM card takes place after TRAI’s tele-call department makes a verification call to the customer. The distributors and retailers in collusion with company employees issue nine other SIM cards using the same details and when verification call comes they state details of the customer as they have a copy at hand. They then sell the pre-verified SIM cards to other people at a very nominal price. In reality 10 SIM cards are issued in the name of one person and the genuine customer is unaware of it,” said the counsel. He also claimed that thousands of such false deals take place every year, without the knowledge of the higher-ups in the company.

The magistrate has not only asked the police to investigate but also slap serious charges under Section 121 and 121 A, which are as serious as waging war against the State.

According to Dwaraka Zone SHO P.V.V. Narasimha Rao, the charges are serious as the complainant has stated that the SIM cards could easily fall into the hands of anti-social elements including terrorists. “We are investigation the case,” he said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 4:50:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/sale-of-unauthorised-sim-cards-comes-to-light/article6001813.ece

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