ICT ministry's move to curb sim-card perpetuated crimes

The Government will limit the number of sim-cards that can be registered under one identity card.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) PS Jerome Ochieng announced that the ministry and the Communication Authority of Kenya will be meeting players in the telecommunication industry next week to find out ways of restricting registration of sim cards.

This, he argues, will combat the growing trend where criminals have been using stolen ID cards to register sim cards and use the same to commit crime.

If implemented, the PS told the Senate Committee on ICT, that mobile service providers will be able to send an alert to the clients registered under the same ID card or any other identification document notifying them of the new sim card registered under their number.

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“As it is now, one can only seek information physically from the service providers to know if there is any other sim cards registered under their identification documents,” said Ochieng.

Tighten rules

During yesterday's hearings, the committee was chaired by its vice-chair, Halake Abshiro.

Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina had protested that the telecommunication industry had failed to tighten the rules sim card registration.

“As a way of consumer protection the operators should have a system where immediately a line is registered with one’s document, then they are alerted," he said.

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Meanwhile, Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge told the committee that regulations have been put in place to ensure telecom firms offering financial payment services do not compromise customer data.

“We have given instructions that customers need to consent to the use of the information and data possessed by these institutions," he said. 

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ICTICT PS Jerome OchiengSim Card crimes