A joint operation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and Subah Info Solutions Ghana Limited, has led to the arrest of four men who are alleged to have defraud the state through SIM box operation.
The police indentiied the suspects as Basha Asward Ibrahim, James Okai , Benjamin Komlan Agbo, believed to be a Togolese, and one other person, whose name was not mentioned.
Subah Infosolutions Ghana Limited in 2010 was contracted by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to provide telecom traffic monitoring services for revenue verification, specifically to collect “Talk Tax” pursuant to the Electronic and Communication Act.
Basha Asward Ibrahim and James Okai, according to the police, were arrested on April 28, 2016 at their hideout at Tubah near Kasoa, in the Central Region.
Bemjamin Komlan Agbo was arrested on April 29th, 2016 at Adjiringano, Accra.
The suspects were apprehended at the time they were busily scratching top up cards and loading them onto SIM card boxes.
They are currently in police custody assisting them with their investigations.
The Taskforce conducted search at the premises and retrieved two Dell laptops, one HP laptop, one Dell desk top computer, two Narada batteries, one tiger Gasoline generator, two 32 sim box capacity modems and one 32 sim box capacity tower,
The rest of the items are one smart APC UPS, one D-link router, three Dell key boards, one microtech router board, GSM cable, Airtel modem, two Samsung phones, LG phone, one techno phone LG phone, one Nokia phone, sim cards of Tigo, MTN, Vodafone, Glo, Airtel and scratch cards.
So far within seventeen months of operation, the Taskforce has been able to make an arrest of thirty cyber robbers, which development has saved the country a revenue of US$ 77,379 million.
Speaking to the media yesterday in Accra, Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP), Mr. Prosper K. Agblor, recounted that on February 4, 2015, the Taskforce in collaboration with Subah Info Solutions performed a triangulation exercise which picked up an operation signal that led the team to a secret location at Gbawe in Accra.
He further recounted that when the Taskforce got to the place on that day, they observed that two SIM boxes were in a kiosk operating.
He said the Taskforce quickly broke into the kiosk and impounded two SIM box machines and antennae with two SIM slots, routers and a variety of sim cards and batteries.
He went to state that on February 11, 2016, at Bortianor, near All Faith Memorial Clinic, one arrest was made and sim box machines, antennae and routers.
The Taskforce, he continued, also seized sim cards, adding that “investigations revealed that they had been operating between six and one year.”
He stated that on April 22, 2016 the Taskforce again picked up a signal at Baatsona on the Spintex road which led them to Sam Ado Hotel where they retrieved two GSM Gateway 32 channel, a TP link, surfline router, extension board, four GB Transcend pen drives, eight Channel PCI cards but no suspect was arrested.
Additionally, Mr. Agblor disclosed that on April 26, 2016 the Taskforce conducted a thorough search at Dome Pillar Two in Accra and retrieved two GSM Gateways (Video Vision) two Huawei routers, an apple laptop, two Visca batteries an another Hawed router.
He went on to say that on April 7, 2017 the Taskforce moved to Aplaku Block Factory to impound a double barrel pump action gun, sixteen channel sim servers, four channel GSM moderns, a surfline server, two micro tech routers, smart tablet, Acer laptop, TP link, computer monitor, MTN sim cards, bullets nine antennaes, cash, inverter battery, L.G TV, Micro lab and a pen drive.
Out of the thirty arrests, Mr. Agblor said three persons have been convicted for five years, vowing that his outfit will not allow economic saboteurs to subvert the laudable development objectives of the State.
According to him, since 2010 the illegal activity had resulted in an estimated loss of millions of revenue that should have been paid by service providers abroad.
He advised the public to look out for persons who bought volumes of SIM cards and avoid registration of those cards.
Director General of Subah Info Solutions Ghana Limited, Mr. Redeemer Kwame, disclosed that an estimated 1,400 unregistered SIM cards suspected to be used for illegal operations of SIM boxes are terminated by his outfit on daily basis.
He said his company has equipment which help to detect and monitor the activities of the suspected fraudsters.
SIM boxes, he explained, are illegal terminals used for routing international calls to evade government taxes, adding that the National Communication Authority (NCA) estimated that more than $40 million in taxes was lost to the state between the period of 2014-2015 due to the activities of SIM box fraudsters.
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