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Kenya

Mobile operators have 7 days to switch off irregular SIM cards

a forensic audit which found rampant cases of non-conformity with the SIM card registration regulations.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – Communications Authority of Kenya has given mobile network operators one week to switch off Sim cards that are either fraudulently registered, unregistered or partly registered failure to which they will face regulatory action. 

CA Director General Francis Wangusi has also urged the operators to ensure agents verify identification documents with the integrated population registration systems at the time of registration.

This is after a finding by a forensic audit which found rampant cases of non-conformity with the SIM card registration regulations and evidence that showed operators are not in control of the agents.

For instance, in cases where subscribers used passports as a form of identification, various anomalies were noted, especially in the mismatch in the numerical length of the Kenyan passports.

The audit also found frequent cases of double registration where one number is registered by four or five people.

Other SIM cards were found to have multiple registrations with different identity details, with potential use for criminal purposes.

The audit also shows that the data in the subscriber databases of the operators was incomplete and inaccurate, pointing to the need for a verification system to help enhance the authenticity of the data.

“According to the findings, it was evident that operators are not in control of the agents. This was occasioned by weak controls in management of SIM sales agents. In most cases, a dangerous trend was noted where the operators’ databases that had records which appeared to have been populated from other secondary sources,” Wangusi said.

Wangusi added that the Authority has initiated discussions with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government on the possibility of accessing the personal identification secure comparison and evaluation system for online verification of passport details.

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