The Uganda Communications Commission working with the Police conducted an operation over the weekend where eight suspects were arrested for using sim boxes to divert international calls for their own gains.
In the process, they defrauded telecom companies and government of the money charged on international calls.
Three suspects were arrested in Masanafu Rubaga Division with one sim box that had 545 sim cards.
At Clement Hill Road in Kampala, two other suspects were arrested with one sim box.
At Nakawa Market two sim boxes were recovered with 32 and 1,024 sim cards respectively and one suspect was arrested.
In Kasubi one sim box was recovered but the suspects are still on the run.
The spokesperson Uganda Communications Commission Ibrahim Bbosa explained how these fraudsters work.
“In this situation, a person or group of people set up a device with several sim cards and use the same to complete international calls received from the internet as Voice Over IP (VoIP). The calls are in turn served to the in-country mobile network subscribers as local tariff,” Bossa noted.
Two suspects who are said to be selling sim cards to the unscrupulous dealers were also arrested and on interrogation they revealed that each sim card goes for Shs 10,000.
The sim cards used in the sim boxes are said to be from stolen phones that are not blocked by telecom companies.
UCC has therefore cautioned the public to always report stolen sim cards and contact service companies to block them.
A sim box is a device that takes several sim cards between between 150 and 1,000 and used to divert international calls.
They are charged as local calls which makes a loss to government and telecom companies.