Wednesday, August 5, 2020

PURA Fines Africell D5.5 Million: Suspends sale of SIM cards by third parties

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By Momodou Jarju

In a public notice made available to Foroyaa for publication, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has fined Africell D5,580,000.00 for selling SIM Cards activated at points of sale to subscribers without registering their ID details.

The public authority stated that D30,000 was charged for each of the 186 SIM Cards sold to subscribers by Africell.

In the same vein, PURA has asked all GSM companies to suspend selling SIM Cards by third parties for the time being.

Foroyaa has contacted Africell and PURA for some clarification, but to no avail. The Africell spokesperson said he was out of the country and cannot make any comment, while officials at PURA could not be reached for further comment before the paper goes to press. Follow up will be made today.

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Below is the full text of the notice:

SIM CARD REGISTRATION ENFORCEMENT ACTION

Pursuant to Section 13 of The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) Act 2001, PURA conducted a routine country wide monitoring exercise on SIM card registration in July 2019.  The results of the exercise established that agents of AFRICELL, QCELL and GAMCELL in various parts of The Gambia were selling unregistered SIM Cards that were active at point of sale. This is in direct contravention of the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations 2012 and the Authority’s SIM Card Registration Determination Ref: P/PO/SCR/VOL. VI (109) dated 2nd March 2016.

As a result of non-compliance with the Authority’s determination and the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations 2012 the general public is hereby informed in accordance with Section 44 (7) of the Information Communications Act that on the 21st August 2019 the Authority took the following measures against AFRICELL, GAMCEL and QCELL:

  1. Suspend the sale of SIM Cards by Third parties until the following remedying conditions are put in place:
  2. New SIM Cards can only be sold at their branches or Customer Care Centres;
  3. Conduct extra training for Customer Care Agents and third-party sales personnel;
  4. Review sensitization and awareness of the whole SIM Card Registration process; and
  5. Institute additional checks and controls on the system.
  6. AFRICELL to pay a fine of GMD D5, 580, 000.00 (five million five hundred and eighty thousand Dalasi)being 30,000 (thirty Thousand Dalasi) for each of the 186 (one hundred and eighty-six) SIM Cards sold to subscribers without registering their ID details and activated at point of sale.

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