Min. of Interior pursues unregistered mobile phone numbers used in bombings
Minister of Communication and Information Technology Atef Helmy - YOUM7 (Archive)
By RANDA EL-BANNA

CAIRO: Security forces are coordinating with the Communications Investigations Department to seek the regulation of unregistered SIM cards of mobile phones, alleging that they have been used in remote bombings, a security source told Youm7.

The Communications Investigation Department is coordinating with mobile network companies to cancel unregistered numbers used in attacks, sexual harassment incidents and kidnappings, according to Youm7.

Lawyer Samir Sabry issued a report to Supreme State Security Prosecution against the Minister of Communications, Atef Helmy, the executive manager of National Regulatory Telecommunications Authority and Chairmen of Mobile Network companies, according to Youm7.

In his report, Sabry said that terrorist attacks are implemented using these unregistered SIM cards, as they have no information about their users or their addresses. Such SIM cards were allegedly used in detonating three bombs that were carefully planted on top of trees outside Cairo University and Orman Garden, whereby the bombing took place as a result of detonating them remotely through the use of the SIM card number, added Youm7.

Sabry also added that the registered numbers do not reflect the real number of mobile phone lines in Egypt as, according to executive head of National Regulatory Telecommunications Authority, unregistered mobile phone lines are estimated at 25 percent of the total number of lines, said Sabry to Youm7.

Cairo Court for Urgent Matters issued a verdict on March 31, obliging the Prime Minister to ban unregistered mobile phone lines. However, the verdict was not implemented, although it was ordered to take effect immediately, according to the law, added Sabry to Youm7.

Further, the National Regulatory Telecommunications Authority agreed with mobile telecommunications companies on Feb. 20 to cut off services for unregistered mobile lines, on Feb. 27.

About 16 million lines were cut off due to missing registration information and missing national ID numbers. 1.5 million mobile phone lines had no registration information at all, and mobile network companies in Egypt cut off the services for these lines completely, Minister of Communications, Atef Helmy told “Al-Ashera Masaa’n” program on Dream 2 on March 31.

Additionally, official spokesperson of the Min. of Communications, Ahmed Raouf confirmed Helmy’s statements to The Cairo Post Thursday, but added that the authority responsible for this is the National Regulatory Telecommunications Authority and the Cabinet.

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