Pakistan Telecommunication Authority with the Federal Investigation Agency, while briefing the cabinet today, revealed that around 45,000 IDs had been used for fake registration of smartphones. These IDs include CNICs, Passports, etc. and the thieves have been able to bypass the DIRBS system implemented by PTA for blocking smartphones.
While arrests have been made to bring those responsible to justice, one wonders how exactly was such a huge data leaked. PTA has already received around 20,000 complaints regarding illegal registration of smartphones and it is good that the regulator has knowledge regarding the total number of fake IDs involved for fake registration of smartphones. All of these IDs belong to overseas Pakistanis and were used in their absence to register smartphones. As of right now, PTA has reported a total of 44,943 cases to FIA for action against those responsible for fake registration.
Multiple sources have reported that an official in the government has sold around 750 IDs for Rs. 500 each whereas a travel agent has been arrested for stealing data of 1,328 people. PTA has recommended that a two-step verification procedure would prevent these incidents in the future and it is closely coordinating with security agencies to keep an eye on the matter. Ever since the announcement of DIRBS, around 986,000 phones have been registered so far of which 33,000 are those on which import duty was paid. PTA has also recommended a decrease in taxes applicable on mobile phones as well as opposed the baggage rule.
What strategies do you think will help prevent fake registration of smartphones?