Over 25,000 SIM cards purchased by five foreigners: Police

Those that bought the largest number of SIM cards in the Maldives include two foreigners, with an average of 5,000 SIMs each, Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed has said.

At Wednesday's Home Sector press conference, the Commissioner said the largest number of SIM cards were purchased by foreigners. Although these foreigners were previously living in the Maldives, they no longer reside in the country, he said.

CP Hameed noted that these SIM cards are used to commit crimes, acts of terrorism, and scam phone calls. While most scam calls are believed to originate from prisons, he said 3,033 actions had been taken across the country regarding such scam calls, not limited to areas where prisons are located.

Steps taken to stop the scam call

No. of mobile numbers disconnected - 2,196
No. of blacklisted phone IMEIs - 817
No. of blocked websites - 12
No. of blocked IP addresses - 8

Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu told the news conference that jammers were earlier installed in the jail and that it had not produced the desired results. The networks of areas close to the jails, nearby islands, and resorts also got jammed as a result of the move, he said.

The prisons commissioner said a "honeypot" was installed in the jail in consultation with the relevant authorities. While a special tower is installed at the Maafushi Jail, a list of those who use mobile phones in the jail area with permission has been handed over to the authorities, he said. The information received by the antenna is analyzed, and relevant action is taken in collaboration with the police and the Telecommunications Authority, he said. However, the problem of phone calls from the prison has not been completely resolved, he admitted.