Sim Box Fraud | A New Headache for Ghana?

You've probably been hearing of the activities of Sim Box Fraud. But how do they operate? What motivates them? What effects does it have on the country? and can it be stopped? Let's get talking...

Sim box fraud is a system by which persons re-route/divert international call coming to Ghana through boxes in which they have inserted local Sim cards and then terminate the calls using those cards to make the call appear as a local call. For instance, when you see an international call appear as 0242XXXXXX, it means a Sim box fraudster is terminating the call using an MTN Sim card. Other Sim cards are used too. This way the fraudster manage to by pass all the international Interconnect charges and generated millions of dollars in revenue which should have been otherwise collected by the network operators and the government.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) is charged with overseeing and regulating all forms of communication be it wire,cable, Internet and similar means of technologies for the orderly development and operations of communication services in Ghana. When it comes to Sim box fraud, the NCA accuses the Telecommunication Companies of not doing enough to fight against "Sim boxing".  They should be blamed for the often activation of unregistered Sim cards and badly registered Sim cards. A blame they point to the lack of proper identification system in the country.

They claim it's very difficult to trace a user with the information provided on their ID cards and also there  is no law that determines the number of Sim cards that can be registered in the name of one particular person.
People register their Sim cards and give their ID's to other people who also registers one or more Sim card with it.
You can even get already registered Sim card to buy in the market. This makes difficult to find the real owners of those cards.

Sim box fraud cause Ghana to loose millions of dollars every year. Many have blamed the booming business of Sim box fraud to the high cost of international calls in the country. Currently the international call rate is 19 cents per minute as compared to 3 and 7 cents charged on international and local calls in Nigeria. This makes Sim boxing unattractive in Nigeria.

The Communications Minister explains that
There are other countries whose international call rates are beyond 19  cents yet because they have implemented Inter Connect Clearing House, they do not have the kind of Sim box fraud we have here in Ghana.
Going forward, the Government and the Telco's need to invest into newer and efficient technologies to be able to detect and block the actives to Sim boxing. It says, it is introducing the Inter Connect Clearing House this year which will help trace individuals engaged in the illegal business.
The Telco's too must show some commitment by blocking all active unregistered Sim cards and badly registered Sim cards. They should also invest in fraud management systems and call generation softwares to help detect and block Sim boxing on the networks.
These techniques when put in place will see to the decline if not the total wipe out of Sim  boxing activities in Ghana.


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