Securing Mobile Networks: Maldives Implements SIM Card Restriction to Combat Scammers

  • Maldives
  • Business
PUBLISHED 25 July 2023

The Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) has gazetted a new rule that limits the number of SIM cards that a person can own. The rule, which will come into effect in a month, will allow each citizen to have a maximum of 10 SIM cards. Foreigners and tourists will only be able to own three SIM cards.

The rule was drafted in response to the increasing number of scams that are being carried out using unregistered SIM cards. In many cases, scammers will take out thousands of SIM cards in the name of a single person. These SIM cards are often unregistered, making it difficult to track down the scammers.

The new rule will make it more difficult for scammers to operate. It will also help to prevent identity theft and other crimes.

Those who wish to own more than the allowed number of SIM cards will need to apply for a special permit from CAM. The permit will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, such as for businesses that need to use a large number of SIM cards for their operations.

The rule also prohibits the sale of activated SIM cards. This means that all SIM cards must be unactivated when they are sold. The SIM card will not be activated until the buyer's identity has been verified by the relevant authorities.

Service providers and agents who violate the new rule will be subject to fines of up to MRF 50,000.