The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has met with the House Committee on Financial Crimes in a bid to tame the reccurring challenges of Call Masking, Call Refiling and Sim Boxing.
The meeting became necessary because the phenomenon poses great security challenges and economic sabotage to the industry.
Speaking at the meeting, the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, explained that call masking of calls with another number, especially international calls has been trending since September 2016 when NCC reviewed the International Termination Rate (ITR) to N24.40.
He added following the implementation of the reviewed ITR to N 24.40, there has been a growing levels of call Masking and Refiling from October 2016 to June, 2017.
However, realizing the implications of this phenomenon to the industry and security of the nation, the Commission has since taken drastic monitoring, compliance and enforcement measures and charged the Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department at the Commission to uncover the networks behind the crime.
The NCC, in collaboration with different stakeholders and security agencies had earlier this year suspended six interconnect exchange licenses. The Director Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen in his presentation to the House Committee also highlighted some of the actions put in place by the Commission to address issues of Call Masking, Call Refiling and Simboxing.
The actions, according to him include charging the Legal and Regulatory Services Department of the Commission to work on the issuance of Direction to MNOs’ to implore every technical means not to allow their networks to be used for Call Masking and SIM Boxing activities.
He also disclosed that the Commission through the Public Affairs and Consumer Affairs Bureau Departments to use all available channels to deepen awareness on the NCC’s actions, get stakeholders buy-in and get as many MSISDN records for the Commission’s further investigation and enforcement actions.