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HomeTechPTA Proposes Stringent Measures: Illegal SIM Sales to Become Non-Bailable Offence

PTA Proposes Stringent Measures: Illegal SIM Sales to Become Non-Bailable Offence

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The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has forwarded draft amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 to the Ministry of IT and Telecom. The proposed amendments aim to elevate the illegal sale of SIMs to a cognizable and non-bailable offense.

In a robust crackdown, the PTA has already blocked a substantial number of illegally issued SIM cards in 2023, totalling 850,000. The authority has taken stringent actions against offenders, terminating approximately 8,500 retailers and 100 franchisees involved in the illicit issuance of SIM cards, citing violations of company policies. Collaborative efforts between the PTA and FIA have resulted in 13 raids against illegal SIM issuance in 2023, leading to the arrest of 19 individuals.

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Furthermore, the PTA has levied substantial fines on Cellular Mobile Companies (CMOs) for unauthorized SIM sales, including a Rs. 100 million fine on Zong, Rs. 70 million on Ufone, and Rs. 21 million on Telenor.

In a bid to enhance the transparency of SIM issuance, the PTA has directed CMOs to implement SIM Stock Binding at the Franchisee level across the industry by the end of the year. The ongoing implementation of three-factor authentication, including login/password, OTP, and biometrics of the seller, is in progress across all CMOs.

These proposed measures underscore the PTA’s commitment to tackling the issue of illegal SIMs, ensuring a more secure and regulated telecommunications environment in Pakistan. The move towards making the illegal sale of SIMs a non-bailable offence reflects the gravity of the government’s stance on combating such activities.

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