Six people have been arrested in Kampala for allegedly running illegal Sim-boxes in the country used to terminate international calls.
The identity of the six is yet to be revealed but Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the regulator of the communications and broadcasting sector in the country says they will be charged in court tomorrow with fraud and other related charges.
“This fraud mainly manifests through receiving international calls as though they are local calls. This causes the operator and government to lose revenue on such calls since they are recorded as local calls,” Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, UCC’s executive director noted in a statement.
Abdu Salam Waisswa, the Head of Legal Affairs Uganda Communications Commission, says the suspects are wanted for illegally terminating international calls thereby causing loses to telecoms firms. Waisswa explains how call termination works.
According to Waisswa, the suspects, one of whom was working with Airtel, will appear at Buganda Road Magistrate’s court on Thursday to answer for electronic fraud and operating a telecommunication system illegally.
All the suspects are graduates of Information Communication and Technology (ICT). Although Waiswwa couldn’t give the exact loss occasioned on telecom companies by the international call termination fraud, he said the companies had raised the matter with UCC.
He appealed to members of the public who receive international calls appearing as local calls to report to police. “If you receive a call from a person for instance in Malaysia, but it appears like a local number, come to the Commission or Police,” he said.
How the Call termination works
Call termination requires a Sim box alias Sim Bank. A Sim box holds a bundle of Sim Cards separately from the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)/ Gateways in order to minimise maintenance costs and solve Sim blocking problems.
A SIM box can contain SIM cards of different mobile operators, permitting it to operate on numerous networks.