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Telecom operators must vet SIM card dealers, violators to face Rs 10 lakh fine: Centre

Recent efforts to curb fraudulent mobile connections have led to the blacklisting of 67,000 SIM dealers, 52 lakh connections and the registration of over 300 First Information Reports (FIR), Union minister Vaishnaw said

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 18.08.23, 09:22 AM
Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ashwini Vaishnaw File picture

The government has made the verification of dealers selling SIM cards mandatory and discontinued the provision of issuing bulk connections, Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday.

He said the verification of SIM card dealers will be carried out by “the licensee” or the respective telecom operator and added that a penalty of Rs 10 lakh will be imposed on violators.

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Recent efforts to curb fraudulent mobile connections have led to the blacklisting of 67,000 SIM dealers, 52 lakh connections and the registration of over 300 First Information Reports (FIR), Vaishnaw said.

Further, the minister said WhatsApp on its own blocked around 66,000 accounts that were involved in fraudulent activities.

The enforcement move follows the launch of the Sanchar Saathi portal in May, along with the wider rollout of fraud detection mechanisms to identify individuals who have registered more than nine mobile connections, the maximum that is permitted.

The minister said the process for mandatory registration of franchisees, agents and distributors (PoS) by licensees has been introduced. This will help in eliminating the rogue PoS who by fraudulent practices issue SIMs to anti-social/anti-national elements.

The PoS registration process includes indisputable verification of PoS by the licensee. The process mandates a written agreement between the PoS and the licensees. If a PoS indulges in any illegal activities, it will be terminated and blacklisted for three years. All the existing PoS will be registered under this process by licensees within 12 months.

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