A network engineer, Ebenezer Boateng, was yesterday sentenced to 12 months hard labour for Sim box fraud.
He was said to have connived with an Afghan citizen resident in Dubai, Rahim Abdullai Moham-med, to engage in the SIM box fraud which resulted in the loss of $787,968 to service providers.
Boateng is also to pay a penalty of GHS36,000 to the state in addition to the imprisonment term or in default serve a two-year jail sentence.
The Financial Division of the Accra High Court also ordered the National Communications Authority (NCA) to destroy all the SIM cards, boxes and the computers used in committing the crime donated to some deprived schools.
Passing judgement, the presiding judge, Efia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, noted that Boateng had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt, his innocence, adding that the court was convinced that he indulged in the crime since he showed no remorse in the course of the trial.
Boateng faced three counts of providing electronic communication service without licence, contrary to Section 3(1) and 73(1) (c) of the Electronic Communications Act 775, 2008, possessing illegal device and interfering with the sending transmission, delivery and reception of communication.
According to the facts of the case as presented by State Attorney, Stella Ohene Appiah, the joint Anti-Fraud Taskforce acted upon a tip-off about SIM box activities in Koforidua in the Eastern Region on January 9, 2015.
She said with the help of a sim box location device, they traced the act to an office on the top floor of the SSNIT building opposite the old Vodafone office, where Boateng was, with two others sitting behind a computer.
When queried, Boateng told the team that he was operating a wireless service for the public, but upon a critical analyses of his work, it was observed that he was operating a SIM box, the prosecutor said.
She said a search was conducted, leading to the retrieval of four 16-slot SIM boxes, three laptops, one standby generator, an inverter, router, large quantities of assorted SIM cards from Vodafone, Airtel and MTN, as well as about 3,296 assorted and used scratch cards of these service providers.
Boateng then confessed operating a SIM box, but explained that he was doing so on behalf of Mohammed, resident in Dubai, for a monthly salary of $300.00.
According to the prosecutor, investigations revealed that Boateng had escaped arrest on two occasions.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme