More than 5 lakh Rohingyas active with illegal SIMs
Published: 08:26 PM, 9 November 2021
The use of Bangladeshi mobile SIMs by the Rohingyas in Ukhiya-Teknaf camp in Cox’s Bazar is increasing day by day; File Photo
The use of Bangladeshi mobile SIMs by the Rohingyas in the Ukhiya-Teknaf camp in Cox’s Bazar is increasing day by day. There are various complaints about “how the Rohingyas are using the biometric registered SIM in Bangladesh”.
According to reliable sources, more than 5 lakh Rohingyas are using the biometric registered SIMs of Robi, Airtel, Teletalk, Banglalink and Grameenphone mobile operators. As a result, the locals believe that the trend of crimes like drug trafficking, murder, kidnapping, robbery, hundi, ransom, theft is increasing with the help of mobile phones.
It is learned that the locals are also handing over Bangladeshi SIMs to the Rohingyas “in exchange for money”. These SIMs are seen being sold in the vicinity of Rohingya camps without any paperwork. Besides, unscrupulous traders are supplying these SIMs.
These traders secretly register the SIMs using the NID of Bangladeshis. Later, each SIM was sold to Rohingyas for Tk 500 to 1000. There is a syndicate in these works. After collecting the SIM from the company and registering it, they are handing it over to the Rohingyas in exchange for money.
Besides, MPT SIM is being used in different areas in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border. Due to the easy network, Rohingyas as well as many Bengalis are using MPT SIMs.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has directed the mobile operators to completely stop the use of mobile phones in the Rohingya refugee camp areas between September 1-7 in 2019. At that time, the network in the Rohingya camps was limited for some time, however, it is normalized again.
Md. Nur, living in Balukhali camp, said he “bought a mobile set with SIM” from another Rohingya refuge named Osman Gani in Kutupalong camp Tk 8,000 and he did not need to submit any paperwork. “That man bought the SIM from a shop of a local person in 2018 without any documents,” Md. Nur added.
When phone-called Ukhiya UNO Nizam Uddin about the matter, he did not respond and could not be reached for comments.