Phone firms deny flouting law on SIM cards

October 8, 2013
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Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore. Photo/ FILE
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore. Photo/ FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Chief executives of mobile phone companies insist they are in full compliance with the law that requires them to register all active SIM cards.

Speaking on behalf of the four mobile operators, Safaricom Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director Nzioka Waita said the firms had gone beyond what is required by local laws in adhering to international standards of systems security requirements.

“We have invested heavily in our endeavour to provide a convenient, widely available and secure communications infrastructure to serve the Kenyan population,” he said.

He says the operators have separately come up with stringent SIM registration guidelines that according to them have reduced the cases of criminal activity that thrived through unregistered SIM cards.

Waita says the mobile operators are working together with the regulators to continue to tighten any gaps that might be exploited.

“We are fully aware of our role in safeguarding the integrity of our systems and the infrastructure that has become integral to the economic security of our country,” he said.

The operators claim that since the publication of the SIM registration regulations in January of 2013, they maintain and update a registered subscriber base of over 30 million phone users.

He said the operators will continue to work closely with telecoms and banking regulators to create a robust anti money laundering and counter – terrorism finance regime to support continued innovation in mobile payment infrastructure.

This comes as Cabinet Secretary for Information and Technology, Fred Matiang’i said unregistered SIM cards had been used to undertake criminal activities, pointing out that CEO’s of the four mobile companies would be held responsible over the sale of the unregistered SIM cards and those found guilty arrested.

Matiang’i instructed the CCK to ensure all SIM cards that are not registered are switched off in the next 48 hours.

The CEO’s on Tuesday recorded statements with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) maintaining that all active SIM cards are registered.

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