Government Mandates Police Verification for SIM Card Dealers and Ends Bulk Connections:
Central Minister Ashwini Vaishnav mentioned that the government has uncovered and deactivated 5.2 million connections obtained through cheating. The Narendra Modi government has now made it compulsory for SIM card dealers to be verified by the police and has also stopped the sale of bulk connections to prevent fraud.
Ashwini Vaishnav, the Minister of Communications, announced, “From now on, both police verification and biometric authentication will be necessary for new dealers (selling mobile SIM cards).” He explained that anyone breaking these rules will have to pay a fine of 1 million rupees.
The minister shared that since the launch of the Communication Companion portal, the government has found and turned off 5.2 million connections that were fraudulently obtained. The government has also put 67,000 dealers who sell mobile SIM cards on a blacklist. He added that since May 2023, 300 SIM card dealers have faced legal action.
“In the past, people used to buy SIM cards in bulk. There used to be a rule allowing this. However, that rule has been removed. Instead, we will introduce a fair business connection rule to help stop fraudulent calls,” explained the minister.
Vaishnav said that there are a million SIM card dealers, and they will be given enough time to go through police verification. He mentioned that the Department of Telecommunications has also stopped the practice of bulk connections and is introducing a new concept of business connections.
Vaishnav said, “Additionally, both businesses and individuals buying SIM cards will need to go through KYC (Know Your Customer).”
This year in May, Punjab Police blocked over 180,000 SIM cards that were activated using fake identities. They also arrested 17 people involved in issuing such SIM cards. A PTI report stated that Punjab Police’s Internal Security Branch worked with the Department of Telecommunications to take strong action against distributors and agents who were selling SIM cards using fake IDs.
Punjab Police noted that most cybercrimes and activities that go against the country’s interests were linked to mobile numbers connected with fake documents