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Gen. Sabiiti Meets UCC, Telecom Operators Over Illegal Sim Cards

The Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen. Sabiiti Muzeeyi on Monday met with key communication officials to discuss security impediments arising from telecom players in the country.

The meeting which sat at UCC headquarters in Kampala was attended by the regulator’s Executive Director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi and senior managers from all telecom companies.

Top on Gen. Sabiiti’s agenda was how to handle the multiple and illegal sim-cards which are still in circulation.

Government introduced a mandatory sim-card registration in 2012 and the process ended in 2018.

Every telecom service subscriber was asked to register their sim-cards and crucial personal information was captured and stored by government.

Government argued that this was partly intended to strengthen security surveillance and monitoring by agencies including police to curtail crime.

The Police boss expressed concern however, there are numerous unregistered sim-cards which are still in circulation and operational, which he said are being used to facilitate criminality.

In several cases especially kidnaps, fraud, murder among others, it has been established that perpetrators use such sim-cards to accomplish their missions and sometimes get away unnoticed.

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Police often find difficulty in tracking down such criminals and their accomplices since their lines are not traceable by the concerned agencies such as UCC and sometimes also the telecom service providers don’t have their data.

Reports from the meeting indicate that it was resolved that all telecom companies should put in place mechanisms to closely monitor registration of sim-cards so as to protect customers’ data from being misused.

“A taskteam was also put in place to review ways in which simcard registration can further be enhanced to promote safety and security of users and the general public,” said Deputy spokesperson Polly Namaye in a statement after the meeting.

Also a new technical team was set up to steer the process of decongesting the 999 emergency line system of unnecessary or false callers to ensure faster and more accurate response by the Police in emergency situations.

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