Pre-activated SIM card sales rampant

Retailers-telcos nexus alleged
Retailers allegedly in association with the country’s mobile phone companies are selling pre-activated subscriber identification module cards in the capital, violating laws.
Stores across the Dhaka city were found selling pre-activated SIM cards and retailers there do not demand any documents although proper documentation of a subscriber’s information is mandatory as per Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission laws.
Officials of law enforcement agencies said the violation of law lend a helping hand to criminals and the police are facing problems in tracking criminals because of false registration of SIM cards.
As per a BTRC directive issued on September2012, any mobile connection will be activated after the subscriber submits documents like copy of his/her national identity card and photograph to the retailer and the mobile company concerned completes verification.
The daily New Age on Wednesday bought Grameenphone SIM (01791665698), Banglalink SIM (01953702465), Robi SIM (01853692932) and Airtel SIM (01622589912) from different stores in the city without submitting any document.
All the numbers were found activated at the purchase and this reporter was able to make calls from the SIM cards just after the purchase.
Retailers said sales of pre-activated SIM cards of state-run Teletalk were more frequent than that of the private companies.
When contacted, Airtel and Banglalink denied making any comment on the matter while Robi said they had valid documents for its SIM bought by New Age but it was registered to some other person.
Robi also said as the SIM was sold to the registered person as per the record the company would not be liable for such incident until the registered person does not file any official complaint with the company.
Grameenphone said, ‘Grameenphone always respects the laws of the land and abides by the regulatory directives. GP also expects its distributors and retailers to strictly follow BTRC directives. Despite our effort availability of a pre-active SIM is unfortunate and we have initiated our internal process to identify the retailer for further action as per directive.’
Teletalk managing director could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.
Mobile operators, however, blamed the retailers for the violation of the BTRC law and said a lack of policy support was the reason for the misconduct.
After retailers submit documents, the mobile companies can only accept those as they do not have access to the NID database, they said.
‘We do not have access to the NID database. So, we can not verify the documents. If the retailers do any wrong, we should not be held liable for that,’ a senior official of a mobile phone company told New Age.
The retailers, however, said that the phone companies were well aware of the fact and approved the practice considering higher sales of SIMs.
‘For smooth business we have to do this and the mobile phone companies are also informed about the practice. They keep mum as they are getting higher sales of their SIM cards,’ said Ratan, a retailer based at Maghbazar.
BTRC officials, however, said that the operators would also be responsible for misdeeds of the retailers.
‘The law says mobile companies will be liable if their retailers are found involved in such activities and it is hard to believe that mobile companies are not aware of such false registration,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age on Thursday.
Asked, telecom secretary Abubaker Siddiqi said selling SIM cards in this way is a violation of law.
‘This is a violation of law and the BTRC should look into the matter with due importance. We have already started the process to allow the mobile companies access to the NID database. It will ease the problem to some extent,’ he told New Age on Thursday.
As per the BTRC directive, an intended subscriber will personally provide the copy of NID, photograph and specimen signature to the retailer and a representative of the mobile company concerned will collect the softcopy of the form from the retailer.
The connection will be activated if all data match with each other, said the BTRC directive.
‘SIM cards with false registration are used by most of the criminals. Because of this, we have faced problems in tracking them many times,’ RAB legal and media wing director ATM Habibur Rahman told New Age on Thursday.

-With New Age input

Related News

Jamuna Bank Foundation holds free plastic surgery camp

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com A free plastic surgery camp for cleft lip, palate, and burn patients was held at Munshiganj General Hospital by Jamuna Bank Foundation. Specialized doctors from the Netherlands provided treatment during the camp, reads a press release. Local government Tazul Islam attended the camp as the chief guest. Chairman of Jamuna Bank ... Read more

Disney Star and Beximco Digital Distribution reach broadcast agreement in Bangladesh

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Beximco Digital Distribution Limited (BDDL), a concern of Beximco Group has signed a deal with Disney Star to distribute eight of their popular entertainment television channels across Bangladesh via paid television service through cable, IPTV, and OTT. The collaboration will see BDDL distribute Disney Star’s channels in the original languages of ... Read more

6 Organizations and 5 Individuals get Best CSR Awards 2022

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Six organizations and five individuals were recognized with “A Better Tomorrow CSR Awards 2022” for making positive contributions to society through various projects. The awards were presented by Planning Minister Abdul Mannan at a ceremony held at Le Meridian Dhaka in the capital, according to a press release. The Daily Star ... Read more

Nagad gets two MasterCard Excellence Awards 2022

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com The Postal Department’s Nagad mobile financial service won the “Mastercard Excellence Award 2022” for its digital innovation in Bangladesh’s financial industry. According to a press release, Nagad won its second online award for its outstanding merchant business contributions. Mastercard recently held the “Mastercard Excellence Award 2022” ceremony in Dhaka’s five-star hotel ... Read more

Rupali Bank made Tahmina Akhter DMD

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Rupali Bank Limited has appointed Tahmina Akhter to the position of Deputy Managing Director (DMD). The Financial Institutions division of the Ministry of Finance issued a circular in this regard recently, reads a press release.  Before joining as DMD, she successfully served as general manager in the same bank. Tahmina Akhter ... Read more

Asian Banker named Islami Bank as ‘Strongest Bank’

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Singapore-based banking and financial intelligence platform The Asian Banker has named Islami Bank Bangladesh the “Strongest Bank in Bangladesh” and the “Strongest Islamic bank in Bangladesh” for 2022. Foo Boon Ping, the platform’s managing editor, announced this on Thursday through a virtual platform which was joined by Mohammed Monirul Moula, managing ... Read more

1000th sub-branch of IFIC Bank opens in Meherpur

In an effort to create the most extensive and technologically advanced banking network in the country, IFIC Bank has inaugurated its 1000th sub-branch in Mujibnagar, Meherpur. The bank’s chairman and Adviser on Private Industry and Investment to the Prime Minister Salman F Rahman and State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain was present as the ... Read more

Berger Paints offers ‘Mr. Expert Damp Guard’

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Berger Paints Bangladesh recently launched a product called “Mr. Expert Damp Guard”, saying it protects homes from damages possible from damp conditions.  Rupali Chowdhury, managing director, and Arifin Shuvoo, brand ambassador of Mr. Expert Damp Guard, inaugurated the product at Le Meridien Dhaka, said a press release. “With this new product ... Read more

Ceramics show begins November 24

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com In an effort to boost export revenues, the Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) is holding a three-day expo from November 24–26. The expo is scheduled to take place in the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka, and organizers anticipate participation from some 200 brands from 15 countries, including the ... Read more

H&M’s Bangladesh plan is big

A senior official at the Swedish retail giant says Business Desk : dhakamirror.com H&M has a big plan for sourcing from Bangladesh, but prices will rise by up to 12% after the country graduates from the least-developed countries group in 2026. Bangladesh will lose preferential market access and face 10-12% export duties after becoming a ... Read more

‘One Country, One Rate’ initiative of BTRC wins global honor

The award is presented by ASOCIO in recognition of introducing a non-discriminatory ‘one country one rate’ tariff in Bangladesh News Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission’s (BTRC) steps to ensure affordable broadband internet got global recognition as its internet at a flat rate initiative, ‘One Country, One Rate,’ won the ASOCIO-2022 award in the ... Read more

Bangladesh produced 2.51 lakh tonnes of shrimp in FY21: minister

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh produced 2.51 lakh tonnes of shrimp in the 2020-21 fiscal year, and the country’s export income has increased in recent years despite the global recession and Covid-19 pandemic, according to Fisheries Minister SM Rezaul Karim. He spoke at the InterContinental Dhaka in the capital during the closing ceremony of the ... Read more

Bangladesh attends Fashion World Tokyo

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh attended Fashion World Tokyo Autumn 2022 on October 18-20 in Tokyo, Japan. Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed opened the Bangladesh Pavilion at Tokyo Big Sight on 18 October 2022, according to a release issued by the embassy there. This is the largest trade show for the fashion industry in ... Read more

StanChart and Brac University to establish curriculum

Business Desk: dhakamirror.com Standard Chartered Bangladesh and Brac University signed a memorandum of understanding recently to develop a curriculum on financial crime and compliance for both undergraduate and graduate students. The aim is to develop professionals trained to prevent financial crime while following both local and international standards of compliance, the lender said in a ... Read more

Singer’s profits drop despite rising sales

Business Desk: dhakamirror.com Although Singer Bangladesh logged higher sales between July and September this year, the company still incurred losses in the quarter, according to a press release. Sales of the multinational electronic and home appliance company were 12.8 per cent higher at Tk 520 crore in the July-September quarter compared to the same period ... Read more

Foodpanda sponsored Bangladesh’s Street Child World Cup team

Business Desk: dhakamirror.com Foodpanda donated €5,000 to the LEEDO squad representing Bangladesh at the Street Child World Cup 2022 in Doha. A Jersey Handover Ceremony was recently held at foodpanda headquarters. The Street Child World Cup Doha 2022 took place 8-15 October and brought impoverished children from around the world together for a football game, ... Read more

bKash partners with wagely to make it easier for RMG workers to access their earned wages

The facility will help RMG employees handle their emergency fund Business Desk: dhakamirror.com Wagely Bangladesh Ltd (wagely) will give Earned Wage Access (EWA) to garment workers who use bKash’s payroll system. With this feature, employees can get already-earned income before payday through their bKash account, helping them handle emergency money, according to a press release. ... Read more

Apex Footwear announces offers on anniversary

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Apex Footwear yesterday launched its 25-year celebration campaign at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka, where the company announced some offers and customer engagement activities that will be available at each outlet across the country till the end of December. Conditions apply on all the offers, which include lucky 25, spin ... Read more

Grameenphone reported 5.7% revenue increase in Q3 2022

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Telecom operator Grameenphone has reported revenues of Tk11,286.75 crore for the first nine months of 2022, registering a growth of 5.7% from the same period last year. In the third quarter, the company lost some 2.9 million subscribers owing to a ban on SIM sales imposed by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory ... Read more

Unilever Consumer Care profit increased by 15% in the third quarter

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Unilever Consumer Care Limited posted 15 per cent higher profit in the third quarter of 2022 compared to a year earlier. The multinational company made a profit of Tk 18.72 crore in the July-September period, up from Tk 16.28 crore in the identical period in 2021. Its earnings per share were ... Read more