The Uganda Police together with the Uganda Communications Commission and telecom operators have arrested and detained eight suspects over SIM boxing/ electronic fraud.
According to a statement issued by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the operation conducted in Masanafu a Kampala suburb over the weekend let to the recovery of one (1) SIM box with 545 SIM cards. Three (3) suspects are in Police custody.
At Clement Hill Road, Central Division, one (1) SIM box was recovered and two (2) suspects are in Police custody.
At Kasubi, Rubaga Division, one (1) SIM box was recovered and the suspects are still at large; their premises were found closed but the SIM boxing apparatus was up and running.
At Nakawa market, two (2) SIM boxes were recovered; one with 32 SIM cards and another with 1,024 SIM cards. One suspect is in Police custody.
Police also arrested two suspects who supply stolen SIM cards to these illegal operators.
In telecommunications, SIM boxing refers to the act of a person or group of people setting up a device that can take in several SIM cards (a SIM box) and using the same to complete international calls received from the Internet as voice over IP (VolP). These were arrested at Masanafu in Rubaga Division.
The calls are in turn served to the in-country mobile network subscribers as local traffic. As such, the SIM boxer bypasses international call rates and often undercuts the tariffs charged by local mobile operators.
The Computer Misuse Act 2011 provides for offences relating to misuse of computers. It also provides for electronic fraud as an offence which arises whenever one uses a computer to commit fraud.
The investigation process is still ongoing, including recording statements of the suspects and establishing the extent of the crime.