Misuse of SIMs cards across border still rampant

Misuse of SIMs cards across border still rampant

SAM Staff,

Gelephu police received information from police in the neighbouring district of Assam, India, that a Bhutanese SIM card was being used to make ransom calls in a kidnapping case across the border.

Although both the abductor and abductee was Indian national, the ransom calls were made from a Bhutanese SIM card from the Indo-Bhutan border near Sarpang.

Gelephu police officials said they found that the SIM card belongs to a monk in Trongsa, who claimed that he lost the SIM card three years ago.

The two service providers in the country, TashiCell and Bhutan Telecom, pointed out that despite awareness created on the proper use of SIM cards, Bhutanese people are careless.

TashiCell’s human resource officer, Sangay Tenzin, said SIM cards are issued only upon submission of proper identification documents.  The service provider also issues only one SIM card to consumers except in few cases where customers use two devices.

He also said that the organisation has been continuously creating awareness, through television and SMS on the proper use of SIM cards.

In the past several Bhutanese were charged for selling SIM card to people across the border, which was later used for making ransom calls after kidnaping Bhutanese people.

Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) then proposed a high-level intervention for necessary streamlining of SIM card subscription. RBP pointed out that all non-Bhutanese working or residing in Bhutan and many people at various places of neighbouring states of Assam and West Bengal owns Bhutanese SIMs.

Police also claimed some SIM cards used by abductors were found unregistered or without proper details of the subscribers.