In what investigators are dubbing the biggest cellular technology fraud in recent memory for
Investigators have also informed FrontPageAfrica that the company's CEO
Investigative source confided to FPA that Dakroub claimed to investigators that he received the device from Salim, the former CEO whose whereabouts are unknown. A source confided to FPA that Chady may currently be in neighboring
Novafone losing 'Great Deal of Money'
The police source told FrontPageAfrica over the weekend that the theft is costing massive losses to the
Device Illegal, LTA Says
Asked whether it is legal to possess the device in
The device known as Sim Boxes is not a new phenomenon, cellular companies across
Cellular technology experts say the SIM Boxes remain a major problem for many network operators, having also negative effects on roaming hub providers and customers alike because they decrease operator revenues due to call redirection, service inaccessibility and missing callbacks. The quality is also said to decreases significantly when SIM Boxes redirect calls over inadequate, highly compressed IP connections, which results in image loss and dissatisfied customers.
Usually Results in Poor Quality Calls
The device is reportedly hampering the quality of calls between subscribers and networks resulting in poor quality on calls to mobile phones at home or abroad.
Critics point to high interconnect fees as a key reason why fraudsters are engaging in the sim box fraud because some mobile operators are charging too much for connections from other networks and concentrating on offering cheap on-net calls instead - including free minutes, or in some countries, flat rate voice calls. As a result, some technology nerds are turning to the Sim boxes to bypass interconnect fees using devices called SIM boxes, or GSM gateways where two phones on different networks, are rigged so that a call arriving on one is routed out again on the other. To the networks involved - which can be mobile or fixed - each call appears to start and end on its own network, so no interconnect fee is payable.
The gateways are run by third-party carriers who sell their services on to mobile and fixed line operators, offering them connections to other networks for less than the usual interconnect fee. But experts say most of those service are poor quality because a large concentration of modems and SIM cards in one location, and the networks are not designed to handle such a load.
Meucci, a company based in
Nigerians Nabbed in Similar Scam Recently
SIM boxes are legal in most, though not all countries. They are said to be legal in the
Ironically, Dakroub was hired to curb such a practice at Novafone, a source told FrontPageAfrica. FrontPageAfrica has been informed that a few weeks ago, some Nigerians were arrested in Point Four recently in
Sim Boxes fraudsters have also hit neighboring countries like
Comium Liberia relaunched under the 'Novafone' banner in
Novafone is reportedly said to be in a dogfight to make serious inroads in the Liberian market despite its massive publicity push since replacing Comium in September. It is unclear how the Sim Boxes scam will affect the company's commercial appeal in its quest to make gains on rivals Lonestarcell/MTN and Cellcom.
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