Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

House to enact telecom fraud law

Soon offering telecommunication equipment without a permit will be a crime.
The House of Peoples Representatives will introduce a new proclamation criminalizing services related to the telecom industry. The draft document that has been sent to the House from the Office of the Prime Minister criminalizes offering software for sale without a permit. 
The draft document dubbed “Telecom Fraud Offenses” classifies wrongdoings as unlawful use of telecommunication equipment, provision of telecommunication service, interception and access, unlawful use of telecommunication service, fraud of charges, call-back service and illegal telecom operators.
“Telecommunication equipment is any apparatus used or intended to be used for telecommunication services; including its accessory and software,” defines the document.
Those who violate the law shall face three months to 15 years imprisonment with a fine ranging from 2,500 to 150,000 birr.
“Whosoever manufactures, assembles, imports or offers for sale any telecommunication equipment without obtaining a prior permit from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology commits an offense and shall, unless it entails a severe penalty under any other law, be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 15 years and with a fine from birr 100,000 to 150,000,” stipulates the document. 
The government sees wide spread telecom fraud as a security threat which is the inputs for the proposed law that was prepared by the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) and tabled for scrutiny before the House last Thursday May 24, 2012.