Are mobile SIMs still illegal? Yes, they are, and this business is happening right under the nose of those who are supposed to stop it. These mobile SIMs are illegal because they are pre-activated on someone else’s name, and it doesn’t happen without the connivance of people sitting inside telcos. And the revelations are no different in this case.
However, commendable are the efforts of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that keep sniffing the locations of such people.
In a recent activity, FIA arrested this man, Saleem Manzoor who was found selling illegal SIMs which were pre-activated on various names. The investigation revealed that Saleem does this work with the help of people sitting inside telcos who bypass the biometric system of verifying the mobile SIMs. Is it a failure of biometric technology in Pakistan? I don’t think as it is more related to the human intention.
FIA has recovered 60 pre-activated (illegal) mobile SIMs from Saleem, and the cyber crime division is investigating further to arrest rest of the people in the nexus. As Saleem discloses further names, the investigating agency could also reach the people in telcos as well, and further arrests are expected in the coming days.
Sources at FIA has revealed that the culprit is connected with people involved in heinous crimes whom he sells these SIMs at exorbitant rates which are later used for various unlawful activities. The agency fears that these SIMs might get used by terrorists for any kind of anti-state activity.
MORE has been raising voice on this issue, and one of our recent reports indicated that how some Jazz’s officials were able to play with the identity of mobile SIMs ownership. The sellers of such SIMs are fooling the authorities. In another report, we have also highlighted the fact that how these SIMs are being activated without the knowledge of person whose name is used for activating them.
The matter is sensitive as just a few months ago, FIA had seized a facility and arrested people with thousands of illegal Ufone SIMs.