THREE people have been arraigned before the Mwanza Resident Magistrate’s Court for attempting to tamper with blacklisted phones.
According to the charges read before the Resident Magistrate Wilbert Chuma, Principal State Attorney from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Mr. Johannes Kalungula alleged that on 17 August 2017, one Daudi Mayunga Masesa (43), a resident of Mkuyuni Tambukareli in Nyamagana Municipality attempted to commit an offence by tampering with a phone.
He mentioned the phone as a Samsung Galaxy Prime with IMEI numbers 354772087347213 and 354773087347211 with serial number R58J61EY6SJ, saying the offence was contrary to section 135 and 154 of the Electronic and Postal Communication Act number 3 of 2010.
In the second count, Mr. Kalungula alleged that Masesa was charged with an offence of tampering with blacklisted phones on an unknown date in 2017 within the City of Mwanza knowingly and willingly.
He tampered with a blacklisted mobile phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with a serial number RF8F10FLWA and IMEI number 358476052431913 by changing its IMEI to 351776065482262 contrary to section 135 of the Electronic and Postal Communications Act Number 3 of 2010.
In another charge, Mr. Kalungula alleged that on August 17, 2017 another suspect, Issaya Daudi Lucas (31), a resident of Nyashana area in Ilemela Municipality at Ngolo area in Nyamagana Municipality in Mwanza region unlawfully and electronically tampered with blacklisted phones.
He mentioned the phone as a Tecno Cx Air with serial number SN 023811075040117 and IMEI Numbers 357201081915202 and 357201081915201, where the suspect wanted to change its IMEI number to 357901081915207 and 357901081915215, contrary to section 135 of the Electronic and Postal Communications Act no 3 of 2010.
In another development, State Attorney from TCRA, Ms Emma Gelani stated before Magistrate Gwayi Sumaye of the same court that contrary to sections 154 and 135 of the Electronic and Postal Communications Act no 3 of 2010, the third suspect, Faraji Said Faraji, a resident of Nyamanoro area in Ilemela Municipality attempted to commit an offence of tampering with blacklisted phones.
He is alleged to have tampered with a mobile phone, a Samsung Galaxy 17Prime with serial number R58J61EW5QT and IMEI Numbers 354772087325086 and 35477308732508. The three suspects denied the charges and are out on bail until when the matter will be mentioned again on 18 December 2017.
Speaking shortly after the case was adjourned; Mr. Kalungula said apart from the three suspects, the authority has managed to trace other people in various areas who attempted to forge blacklisted mobile phones, saying they will be arraigned before the court any time from now.
He warned telecommunication companies and other operators to stop registering blacklisted lines and report any suspected practice for timely action by TCRA. “We have modern equipment that is monitoring all the communication activities countrywide, so any cyber criminal will not be able to escape the long arm of the state,” he said.