Six telecommunication companies in Nigeria has been alleged by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) for their involvement and practice in what is called “call masking”. This is a technique used to allow SMS to be sent or calls to be made to people without revealing the identity of the sender or caller. The companies which are Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Ltd, Medallion Communications Ltd, Niconnx Communications Ltd, Breeze Micro Ltd, Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications Ltd have been issued queries in the past over the same matter. Precisely on the 12th of January, the NCC issued them queries because they have refused to desist from call masking.
The reason behind the queries has been seen that most of the kidnappers and those who perpetuate in fraudulent acts seize the opportunity of this technique to run their businesses without being caught. Although some eCommerce companies also use the platform to advertise their goods and services.
“The companies were queried following the outcome of an investigation by NCC to unmask those companies using call masking techniques to pass off incoming international telecoms traffic as local calls into Nigeria” the commission reported.
NCC had established direct and indirect evidence against the six companies “in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling”. this was disclosed by the commission in a notice of suspension of license letters jointly signed by, Yetunde Akinloye and Efosa Idehen, NCC’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Service and Head of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement respectively.
One of the letters read in part “Having carefully analyzed all the relevant data collected in the course of its investigation activities, the Commission has established a direct and indirect evidence against your company in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling”.
“Consequently, the commission, pursuant to Section 45 (1) and (3) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 hereby gives you Notice of its Intention to suspend the Interconnect Exchange License granted to your company due to your involvement in call masking and refiling and your failure to rectify the breach, despite repeated interventions by the Commission”.