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The telecommunications authority in Cambodia has reportedly cautioned SIM card vendors and mobile operators against the activation of unregistered SIM cards, threatening legal action if they fail to comply.

The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) issued this directive in response to the discovery that certain unauthorized mobile operators were activating phone numbers without acquiring the required subscriber identity information and supporting documentation from customers.

The regulator further revealed that some SIM vendors have engaged in activities involving the rental of SIM cards for fraudulent purposes, such as creating bank accounts, social media profiles, or engaging in other misconduct related to telecommunications services.

The TRC emphasized that enabling such actions as a commercial vendor constitutes a violation of the procedures for utilizing telecommunication services as outlined in the relevant law, making those vendors subject to prosecution.

In particular, the TRC statement urged an immediate cessation of all SIM card sales and distribution by phone vendors and operators unless the necessary identification documents from subscribers are collected. The regulator stressed that service activation should only occur after valid identification documents are obtained from subscribers.

The TRC additionally instructed mobile phone operators to proactively reach out to and notify users utilizing unregistered SIMs or multiple SIMs registered under a single identity, urging them to update their accounts by submitting the required identification documents to their respective mobile phone operators or SIM vendors in accordance with legal obligations.

Furthermore, the TRC has mandated the deactivation of all mobile phone numbers lacking accurate subscriber identity information or proper identification documents, as well as multiple SIMs registered under a single name.

Regarding SIM card rentals resulting in fraudulent uses during the lease period, the TRC confirmed that in the case that SIM vendors are found to be offering the service to customers without a valid ID, who ultimately use the device to commit a crime, the SIM vendors will be held accountable for colluding with the malicious person by negligence.

The general public has also been requested to report any illegal SIM distributors or mobile phone numbers being used for malicious purposes, to the regulator via a hotline.

Related: Growing Importance of Digital Identity Verification in the Telecom Industry

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