MPS finds 62,000 SIM cards under names of 14 foreigners

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has found 62,000 SIM cards registered under the names of 14 foreigners. MPS made the statement in a report submitted to the Parliamentary Committee on State-Owned Enterprises on the prevalence of scams.

At a meeting, Chair of the State-Owned Enterprises Committee Ilyas Labeeb cited the report as stating that the registration of multiple SIM cards under the same names is of serious concern. He noted that these SIM cards are exclusively used for criminal activities and that there are still many active SIM cards being used. The report details that MPS has confiscated 800 SIM cards registered under one name and 24,000 SIM cards under the names of two foreigners while 38,000 SIM cards were under the names of 12 foreigners.

Additionally, the report states that 305 mobile phone numbers were used by prisoners in Maafushi Prison to operate scams and that the MPS has requested telecommunications companies to block the numbers. Committee Chair Ilyas said that the priority should be placed on preventing phones from being smuggled into Maafushi Prison instead of placing antennas to block numbers.

The Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) also submitted a report to the committee, which showed the increase in the reporting of scams in the past few years. As such, the report stated that 686 complaints were filed in 2021, while 1,459 complaints were filed in 2022 and 238 complaints have been filed so far this year.