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Public Administration News  
Singapore Government Tightened Mobile Prepaid SIM Cards Regulation to Prevent Criminal Use
Source Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Singapore
Created: Apr 09, 2014

As part of Singapore government’s ongoing security review, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has reduced the maximum number of prepaid SIM cards per subscriber from 10 to three.


Criminals continue to exploit prepaid SIM cards as an anonymous channel of communications for their illicit activities. This revised limit will reduce the security risks associated with the anonymous use of prepaid SIM cards.


Fraudulently registered prepaid cards have been used to perpetuate criminal activities including unlicensed moneylending, cheating scams, vice-related and gambling-related activities.


For example, unlicensed moneylending syndicates have been found to make use of prepaid SIM cards for communications with debtors and among syndicate members in support of their illegal activities.


This revised limit makes it more onerous for errant dealers to sell prepaid SIM cards that could potentially be used for such illegal activities.


From 1 April 2014, a subscriber can only register up to a maximum of three prepaid SIM cards in total, regardless of whether they are purchased from one or more mobile service providers.


In determining this new limit, MHA and IDA have consulted the mobile service providers and taken into consideration the prevailing prepaid SIM card ownership patterns among consumers. The majority of prepaid SIM card subscribers today hold three or fewer prepaid SIM cards.


The new limit will only be applied to new prepaid SIM card registrations. Existing subscribers can continue to use their prepaid SIM cards. However, they will not be allowed to register additional prepaid SIM cards.


In addition to the above changes, Singaporeans will now be allowed to use their passports to register for prepaid SIM cards, in addition to NRICs.
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