Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ghana - International telephone fraud costing the govt USD 5 Million per month

[the chronicle] The Minister of Communications, Mr.Haruna Iddrisu, has disclosed that the state loses about US$5 million a month, as a result of the fraudulent by-pass of international calls into the country.

He said international calls which come into the country with local numbers are an indication of fraud, which leads to loss of revenue to the state.

"Madam Speaker, it has become common that all of us receive calls from abroad as if they were domestic calls, they either come in as 026, 054, 027 or 020, which is fraud associated with the re-routing of calls, which leads to loss of revenue to the state," he noted.

According to him, in order for the government to generate revenue to undertake meaningful development, it had set a minimum of 0.19 cents, and a maximum of 0.23 cents, which would be held by the operators.

Mr. Iddrisu, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, made this observation when he appeared in Parliament yesterday to answer questions pertaining to his ministry.

His response was in connection to a question asked by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwe, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, who wanted to know from which legal framework the ongoing registration of SIM cards was being carried out.

He mentioned that all that the government was doing was to determine the signal transfer point, because all international calls must come on the +233 number, which is Ghana's sovereign code, adding, "anything contrary, means they are declaring those international calls as domestic calls, yet revenue emanating from international calls is twice or thrice local calls."

"This gives the telecommunication companies an opportunity to under-declare their revenue, which the state loses," he stressed.

He recalled that his ministry, in order to check fraud emanating from international calls, came to the house to get the legal mandate to proceed, and not tap into people's conversations, as has been agitated, because the equipment to be used would not have the capacity to monitor data.

According to him, the ongoing SIM card registration exercise introduced by the National Communications Authority (NCA), would bring to an end the threats and insults emanating from anonymous mobile phone users.

"The National Communications Authority deems such operational information necessary, and, or relevant to help eliminate the growing incidence of anonymous threats and insults emanating from phone calls and text messages made from mobile phones, whose owner's identity is unknown," he noted.

The rational for the registration exercise, as per Sections 8 (2) and 68 of Act 775, according to the Minister, would enable the telecommunication operators obtain a database of their subscribers, in order to enhance security, so as to eliminate fraud and crime by unidentified callers.

Section 8 (2) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, Act 775, states: "The Authority may authorise a network operator or service provider to disclose lists of its subscribers, including directory access databases, for the publication of directories, or for other purposes that the Authority may specify."

The consumer, Mr. Iddrisu noted, was paramount in the ongoing SIM card registration exercise, and therefore, entreated the general public to comply with the directive of the NCA, since clauses 13 (7) and 17 of the Mobile Cellular License, ensures maximum protection for the consumer.

Clauses 13 (7) and 17 of the Mobile Cellular License "requires the licensees or operators to use any su

Ghana: International Fraud Calls Cost Country U.S.$5 Million Monthly

No comments: