Kenya clamps down on unregistered SIM cards

Oct 08, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT
AFP/Getty/ Simona Maina

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An official says Kenyan authorities are cracking down on vendors who do not register people they've sold mobile phone lines to, following revelations that the terrorists who attacked a Nairobi mall last month communicated using unregistered lines.

At least 67 people died in the attack on Westgate Mall.

The Director of the Criminal Investigations Department Ndegwa Muhoro said Tuesday four chief executives of mobile phone companies had been questioned by CID officers over their firms' registration of activated mobile phone lines.

The chief executive officers of Safaricom, Telekom, Yu and Airtel later denied there are active SIM cards which are unregistered. The four said they had recorded statements with police.

In 2010 Kenya made it mandatory for all SIM cards to be registered following an upsurge of phone-related crimes.