Stay Alert! Now it’s time to act. FIA is reportedly taken some severe steps by arresting people involved in the registration of mobiles in Pakistan on fake Identity and changing Mobile IMEIs. They have also warned all those people found guilty whether shopkeepers or customers found involved in the illegal mobile registration that they will face imprisonment, fine or both- This punishment could be up to 7 years in prison, ten million rupees fine or both.
According to sources, it has been observed that many mobile phone sellers in Pakistan have recently started mobile registration through the fake or stolen identity of International travellers to bypass the PTA’s DIRBS system. They access the passport information of expatriate from travel agents and use them to register the phones of customers in Pakistan by charging anywhere from Rs2000 to 5000 per handset.
PTA has reported this criminal, and immoral act of most mobile sellers to FIA and the issue was also highlighted by different segments of the society, especially in a Senate subcommittee meeting on IT & Telecom. FIA has reportedly arrested some people in this connection and is now investigating the matter further. It is very likely that more arrest will follow of shopkeepers and maybe this scope of extended to customers who have used stolen identity for registration of the mobile devices.
A senior lawyer familiar with such issues told our reporter that according to the PECA rules, if someone is caught misusing the credentials of international traveller for mobile registration & reprogramming of IMEI can be imprisoned for up to 7 years, fined or even both as it falls under the definition of Criminal Act.
Any person who is found guilty and damages an information system will be punished according to PECA rules. For reader’s information, “damage to an information system” means any unauthorised change in the ordinary working of an information system that impairs its performance, access, output or modification in a location whether temporary or permanent and with or without causing any change in the system.
The various Offences and Punishments that do apply as per PECA rules under the Criminal Act that relates to the registration of mobile phones under stolen Identity of international travellers or changing/Duplicating IMEI are:
- Unauthorised copying or transmission of critical infrastructure data.-Whoever Wit dishonest intention and without authorisation copies or otherwise transmit or cause to be carried any essential data of infrastructure shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend to five million rupees or with both.
- Interference with critical infrastructure information system or data.-Whoever with dishonest intention interferes with or damages, or causes to be interfered with or damaged, any part or whole of an essential information system, or data, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to seven years or with fine which may extend to ten million rupees or with both.