The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has asked all telecom companies in the country to submit details of agents and sub-agents that deal in sales and subscriber registration on their behalf.
This comes after a forensic audit commissioned by the Authority revealed that SIM card registration regulations are not being adhered to.
The forensic audit according to the regulator revealed numerous irregularities in SIM card registration that include registrations under different identities and mismatch in the numerical length of passport numbers used for registration.
A lack of control by the telecom companies on their agents was also cited by the Communications Authority.
To this end, the authority has given all mobile service providers who include Telkom Kenya, Airtel and Safaricom a week to turn off all SIM cards that are operating unlawfully.
“We have asked the mobile operators to comply by cleaning up their data bases through ensuring that they switch off any fraudulently registered SIM cards. We have given them up to Friday to comply,” said CA director general Francis Wangusi at a press conference on Tuesday.
The audit also revealed that there were no steps put in place by the mobile operators to verify the authenticity of subscriber details.
The assessment subsequently linked the increase in unregistered SIM cards to illegal SIM card hawkers and operator agents contracted on behalf of the telecom companies who do not request for proper identification when the cards are purchased.
“Invalidated registration is dangerous and it endangers the security of citizens in the country. As such it has to come to an end,” said Dr Wangusi.
Dr Wangusi emphasized the importance of operators ensuring that agents verify identification documents with the integrated population registration systems at the time of registration.
According to the law, telecoms firms or their assigned agents are supposed to register purchased SIM cards only after taking down their full name, identity card number, date of birth, gender, physical and postal address.
Issuance of false information can earn one a fine of Sh10,000 or half a year imprisonment or both.
On the other hand, failure to adhere to SIM card registration regulations attracts a Sh500,000 fine or a years’ imprisonment or both.
In conclusion, the regulator revealed that another audit to determine the level of compliance will be conducted in three months and that the Authority had instigated talks 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