UCC suspends sim card sale to companies over fraud

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Following allegations of fraud in Sim card registration, especially regarding corporate bodies, Uganda Communications Commission has temporarily suspended the sale of Sim cards to companies, NGOs and public institutions pending investigations.

In a letter issued last week, the UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo directed all operators “to immediately suspend the sale of SIM cards to companies, Non-Governmental Organisations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government and any other unnatural persons.”

The suspension is to avert the risk of further breach of the law pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigations, Ms Kaggwa Sewankambo wrote. 

UCC has received complaints alleging failure and/or refusal by operators to adhere to the set SIM card registration processes, especially in respect of SIM cards sold to corporate customers.

Under the set guidelines, corporate bodies can have unlimited SIM cards registered in their name as long as the accounting officer has furnished the provider with relevant documents, including articles and memorandum of association.

Victoria University

However, it is alleged that unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of this loophole to submit fake company documents to providers on the basis of which they get multiple SIM cards registered.

In her letter to the operators, invoking sections 5(1)(b)(j) and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the UCC Executive Director asked them to co-operate in the investigation by providing relevant information.

The suspension of SIM card registration for corporate entities is to remain in place until the process of registration of SIM cards by companies and other corporate entities has been streamlined to plug gaps exploited by fraudsters.

SIM card registration for individual customers is not affected by this regulatory action. Members of the public are advised to purchase SIM cards from authorised agents in person and provide an original National IDs, and fingerprint information (Biometrics).

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