Three mobile phone operators have been put before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly selling pre-registered assorted sim cards to the public at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
The Police say all the pre-registered sim cards were registered with different Ghana cards without the knowledge of their owners
Lydia Serwa Akoto, 36, was found in possession of two registered Vodafone SIM cards and 13 pre-registered MTN SIM cards. Appiah Danquah Ampofo, 46, was found with 19 pre-registered MTN SIM cards and nine pre-registered Vodafone SIM cards.
Kwadwo Kyei, 53, was caught offering three pre-registered Vodafone SIM cards. All three have been charged with “knowingly dealing in a pre-registered subscriber identity module or user identity module.”
The accused persons have entered pleas of not guilty to the charges. Mrs. Evelyn Asamoah, presiding over the court, has granted bail to each of them in the sum of GH¢80,000 with three sureties, two of whom must be gainfully employed. T
he next court appearance for the trio is scheduled for October 19, 2023.
Assistant Superintendent Haligah, leading the prosecution, revealed that the arrests were made following intelligence reports of vendors in the Accra metropolis selling pre-registered SIM cards from various networks to the public.
Acting on this information, a police team was deployed on May 4, 2023, to apprehend these vendors operating in the Circle area of Accra.
Upon their arrest, searches conducted on the accused persons yielded significant evidence. Lydia Serwa Akoto was found in possession of 13 suspected pre-registered MTN SIM cards, two suspected pre-registered Vodafone SIM cards, and GH¢4,960 in cash.
Appiah Danquah Ampofo had 19 suspected pre-registered MTN SIM cards, nine suspected pre-registered Vodafone SIM cards, and GH¢22,740 in cash. Kwadjo Kyei had three suspected pre-registered Vodafone SIM cards.
When questioned about their sources, the accused stated that they obtained their supplies from agents of various network service providers at their respective shops.
However, they lacked detailed information about these suppliers, including their addresses, but claimed they could identify them if encountered again.
Further investigations revealed that all the pre-registered SIM cards were registered with various people's Ghana cards without their knowledge. The accused individuals admitted to the offence during their investigation caution statements.
On May 30, 2023, all suspected pre-registered SIM cards were sent to the respective telecom companies for verification.
Subsequently, on July 3, 2023, both MTN Ghana Limited and Vodafone Ghana Limited confirmed the pre-registration of the SIM cards found on Lydia Serwa Akoto and Appiah Danquah Ampofo.