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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 12 December 2020


Simbox, international voice call refilling fraudsters busted in collaborative efforts

SIM Box equipment and hundreds of SIM cards were confiscated SIM Box equipment and hundreds of SIM cards were confiscated

The Greater Accra Regional Police Command together with the National Communications Authority (NCA) and Kelni GVG on Thursday, 26th November, 2020 intercepted the operations of an International Voice Call Refilling business, an illegal phenomenon similar to SIM-boxing.

Chairman of the Port Facility Security Coordinating Committee and Harbour Master for the Tema Port, Capt. Francis Kwesi Micah, expressed pleasure at the success of the exercise which enabled the allied security group know their capabilities in containing some of the situations.

He stressed the need for improved communication skills among the agencies.

Some of their numbers were being used to carry out international call refilling fraud and further investigations by the joint NCA/ Kelni GVG/Ghana Police team confirmed the illegal operations at the said location.

This led to a search following which the setup comprising the equipment mentioned earlier was discovered and confiscated. An individual suspected to be inherent in the security structures so as to give room for corrective measures.

“We have been able to identify some of the inter-agency gaps we need to bridge so I am very satisfied with the exercise,” he said.

He continued by explaining the choice of certain simulation exercises that did enough to mimic realistic scenarios which tested the effectiveness of the raid on the site located off Spintex Road in Accra, led to the confiscation of equipment used in terminating international calls as local calls. The equipment included routers, switches, servers, laptops and monitors amongst others.

Earlier, the NCA had received a complaint from AirtelTigo that “We importantly had to try show off our capabilities by containing the situation through our communication skills,” he said.

He said consistency in such exercises would continue to enhance the capabilities of the national security apparatus responsible for the protection of the highly vital national economic assets. overseeing the illegal activity has since been arrested and will be arraigned before court to assist in investigations.

A similar illegal operation (SIM Box) at Anloga in the Kumasi Metropolis was uncovered on 7th November, 2020 by the Ashanti Regional Police Command together with the representatives from the NCA and Kelni GVG.

One suspect was arrested and SIM Box equipment, mobile phones, laptops, internet routers, over 200 used and unused SIM cards and a money transfer receipt suspected to be proceeds from the illegal operations were seized.

The suspect has since been granted bail. In January and February this year, arrests were made at the Premier Towers in Accra and Tema Community 11 respectively, following routine SIM Box monitoring by the Antifraud Team.

Similarly, SIM Box equipment and hundreds of SIM cards were confiscated. The suspects have been arraigned before the Accra High Court.