A total of 598,507 fraudulent SIM cards have been switched off by telcos in a period of one week following a directive from the Communications Authority of Kenya.
According to information from the Communications Authority director, Francis Wangusi, by the end of Friday last week, thousands of illegal SIM cards had already been closed giving a picture of just how many illegal SIMs are still active.
Telkom Kenya is said to have deactivated a total of 14,373 subscribers from its network in a letter addressed to the Communications Authority.
Airtel Kenya, on the other hand, switched off 584,134 SIM cards, making it the only telco that seems to have had a bulk of the ‘illegal’ SIMs.
The CA, on Monday last week, had issued a directive to all telecommunications companies to deactivate all the subscribers in their systems who did not register according to the law.
CA had conducted a forensic audit on Safaricom, Telkom, and Airtel in which it was found out that hundreds of thousands of SIMs were operating illegally.
The deactivation, according to CA is set to address the issues of double registration as well as anomalies that were seen in terms of varying lengths of both ID numbers and passport serial numbers used.
The telecommunication company that will not comply with the directive risks losing up to 0.2 percent of its annual earnings.
The SIM deactivation exercise comes few months after many Kenyans reported to have lost millions of shillings through SIM swap fraud. Several people have already been arrested and arraigned in court.
Safaricom PLC, on the other hand, has confirmed that all customers on their platform are registered and, therefore, no subscriber has been switched off. “We wish to confirm that all customers on our network are registered,” said Safaricom.