Fake SIMs are the root of cybercrime: FIA official

KARACHI:

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said on Thursday that fake SIM cards were the root cause of cybercrime and that an operation against them was continuing across the country.

Addressing a press conference at the FIA ​​office on cybercrime in Karachi, the additional director of the country’s main investigative body, Imran Riaz, claimed that the operation against fake SIM cards had continued in during the last week.

“Seven franchises of different [mobile] businesses were sealed off and nine people were arrested after citizens lodged complaints with the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority), ”he said.

Riaz said SIM cards were also issued after getting thumbprints in Punjab in addition to inside Sindh, adding that 15,000 to 20,000 SIM cards had been collected and sold on behalf of different companies.

“WhatsApp numbers are sold. SIM cards sold illegally are used in criminal activities, which are activated by silicon. SIM cards opened in the name of other people are also used in crimes such as extortion and kidnapping.

The FIA ​​director observed that the purpose of the operations was not to affect anyone’s business, but added that no such activity that would harm the country would be allowed.

He vowed to take to task those involved in the fake SIM card business by saying that the owner of the cell phone company franchises was involved in this criminal activity.

Drawing up future plans, Riaz said the FIA’s next operation would be against internet service providers who violated standard operating procedures.

He said the franchise operators involved in the sale of illegal SIM cards were working privately in Karachi.

“Franchisees can go all the way to achieve their goals. Previously this activity was carried out in franchises, but now they (the franchisees) have acquired private places, ”he said.

“The reason for the low FIR rate at the FIA ​​is that people want to avoid the courts,” he added.

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