Unregistered SIM card users, sellers to face prison terms

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Nay Pyi Taw, 28 September

Myanmar military council announced on September 25 that it will take action against mobile operators and sales agents under Section 72 of the Telecommunications Law for selling unregistered SIM cards and failing to properly register them.

According to the statement, SIM card suppliers and agents with an official contract with operators must register and sell SIM cards in compliance with user registration rules.

The junta’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has said that this directive must apply to new SIM cards to be sold or existing ones.

It also stated that anyone cannot sell SIM cards that are not registered or fraudulently registered, or not registered in accordance with user registration instructions.

Furthermore, anyone who has received a registered SIM card must re-register with the correct information, according to the statement.

According to Section 72 of the Communications Act, anyone who violates any of these requirements will be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine, or both, the military council said.

A source involved in the revolution told the Than Lwin Times that the military council’s move is to stop the flow of revolutionary income.

Because users do not properly register their SIM cards, they may be tricked regarding financial services linked to the SIM card as well as other internet services, and law enforcement has difficulty combating crime, said the junta.

The military council said that the use of unregistered SIM cards has led to more crimes, violence and threats through the communication network, affecting the country’s stability and rule of law.

According to pro-democracy activist Ko Min Thway Thit, the military council took this step to limit the activities of organizations that oppose them and to maintain their grip on power.

The military council collected information regarding the activities of dissidents taking part in the Spring Revolution and froze their bank accounts and mobile money accounts.

According to telecommunications companies, there are more than 63 million users of various SIM cards in Myanmar, and the local phone operators are currently under military control.

The military council enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act in March of this year in order to intercept and limit the communications of individuals who oppose them.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo-AFP

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