Unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated, says State Minister Tarana Halim

TARANA-1

“We will silence unregistered SIMs since they are being used in crimes,” she told reporters during a BTRC drive against such SIMs in Dhaka on Thursday.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose said they were taking steps against the menace.

But they were yet to set a deadline.

“Sudden deactivation of these SIMs will have a negative impact on the telecom businesses,” he said, responding to a query. “There’s still time to register these SIMs.”

Bose said they would set a cut-off date for registering the SIMs and then deactivate the unregistered SIMs once the time was over.

There are about 126.87 million mobile-phone subscribers in Bangladesh, the BTRC said citing data until June this year.

State Minister Halim spoke about deactivating SIMs without registration several days ago. The BTRC then launched the drive with its mobile team.

Halim said the home ministry had been asked to conduct drives using the security forces to stop the use of unregistered SIM cards.

Letters have been sent out to the deputy commissioners.

She said unregistered SIM cards would be seized from the vendors during the raids and they could also be fined.

“We want to identify the main culprits behind the sale of unregistered SIM cards and punish them,” she said.

“Retailers, distributors or operators, anyone involved with it will be identified. They’ll be punished.”

The High Court last year ordered immediate deactivation of all unregistered mobile SIM cards.

SIM cards are still being sold without registration across the country, ignoring BTRC guideline.

Some of these SIM cards are believed to be used by criminals as they are not traceable.

In 2011, the BTRC ordered activation of SIM cards only after checking a subscriber’s identity.

Source: Bd news24

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