Cambodian telco watchdog warns against sale of unregistered SIM cards

The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia has ordered mobile operators and phone vendors across the country to stop selling SIM cards without verifying subscribers' identification documents.

Gigi Onag, Senior Editor, APAC

May 13, 2024

2 Min Read
Pile of SIM cards
(Source: Lance Mueller/Alamy Stock Photo)

The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) has reportedly instructed mobile operators and phone vendors to stop selling SIM cards in the country without collecting and verifying required documents from subscribers.

According to the Khmer Times, the country's telecommunications watchdog reiterated that operators and vendors should only activate SIM cards after subscribers provide valid identification documents.

The report added that mobile operators had been told to contact users with unregistered or multiple SIM cards to update their accounts with their identification documents in order to comply with legal requirements. It said that the TRC has ordered the deactivation of all mobile phone numbers that do not have the correct subscriber identity information.

Curbing fraudulent use of unregistered SIMs

The TRC issued the warning last week after its recent discovery that some mobile operators have been activating SIM cards for customers without asking for the required identity and supporting documents.

The government enforced a law in February 2023 mandating all devices using SIM cards must be registered in a national database established by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

The regulator also said that some SIM sellers are renting SIM cards that have been subsequently used to create fraudulent bank accounts and social media profiles to support illegal activities. The TRC said that facilitating such acts is a violation under the law, making those sellers liable for prosecution.

In cases where SIM vendors are offering SIM card rental service to customers without a valid ID, the TRC pointed out that these vendors will be held accountable if the mobile device is used to commit a crime. The SIM vendors will be charged for colluding with the perpetrator by negligence.

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About the Author(s)

Gigi Onag

Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading

Gigi Onag is Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading. She has been a technology journalist for more than 15 years, covering various aspects of enterprise IT across Asia Pacific.

She started with regional IT publications under CMP Asia (now Informa), including Asia Computer Weekly, Intelligent Enterprise Asia and Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom Asia. This was followed by stints with Computerworld Hong Kong and sister publications FutureIoT and FutureCIO. She had contributed articles to South China Morning Post, TechTarget and PC Market among others.

She interspersed her career as a technology editor with a brief sojourn into public relations before returning to journalism joining the editorial team of Mix Magazine, a MICE publication and its sister publication Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Gigi is based in Hong Kong and is keen to delve deeper into the region’s wide wild world of telecoms.

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