‘Illegal’ SIMs seller gets six years in prison


A court on Thursday convicted an accused for involvement in the illegal activation of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards on fake identities.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had arrested Noorul Haq for selling SIM cards by activating them illegally using fake Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers.

Additional Session Judge Kaleem Arshad heard the case at a district sessions court where Haq was found guilty of charges and sentenced to six years in imprisonment along with a Rs200,000 fine.

According to the FIA, this has been a “landmark” case in the area of cyber crimes.

The issue of unregistered SIMs, or those activated on fake/stolen identities, has been an ongoing security issue in Pakistan. Such SIMs have been cited by the government and security agencies time and again as a threat, given their misuse by criminals and terrorists.

In July this year, cellular companies had been directed to stop activation of the SIMs on the old pattern that had many security loopholes.

According to a notification issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), SIMs could now be activated only after biometric verification. The buyer would provide thumb impression on the biometric device for online verification with NADRA and then the SIM will be delivered to the user

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