Extent of Rica abuse not yet known


GOVERNMENT is yet to know the extent by which the costly RICA process was abused by fraudsters who sold pre-registered SIM cards to consumers.


“We will engage with all the service providers in terms of how big the problem is,” said deputy minister of communications, Obed Bapela, at a press briefing in the Union Buildings in Pretoria.


The meeting, to be attended by all four cellphone service providers, communications and justice departments, will be held in two weeks time.


The Pretoria briefing follows reports about the sale of pre-registered SIM cards at some outlets in Pretoria.


It is believed that selling of such SIM cards started about a year ago. However, this could not be confirmed, with Bapela referring to the meeting where all such details would be revealed.


Deputy justice minister Andries Nel warned that operators who were selling these SIM-cards were contravening the RICA law, and would be arrested and prosecuted.


Some 50 million SIM cards have been registered in the country since the extended June 30 deadline.


This was mainly to act as a mechanism to guard against the abuse of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure in planning and executing crime.


The process has cost service providers millions.

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