By Andy Gent
The result of high level SIM Box fraud at Novafone, which has seen the operator’s ISP Supervisor Hussein Dakroub implicate CEO Chady Salim, is now threatening the commercial survival of the company.
Salim’s removal from the company this week raises further questions about his alleged role in the fraud which has been reported by AllAfrica. Police sources have stated that the theft has cost ‘massive losses’ to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority and two other major carriers, Cellcom and Lonestarcell.
Novafone CEO, Slim and its IT Supervisor, Dakroub have both been accused by the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) of defrauding the government of Liberia through the use of an illegal GSM gateway to terminate international calls.
The gateway used is a SIM box, which would normally redirect international calls to appear as commencing on a local network. Mobile phone users who have received international calls which show as a local Novafone number will have seen evidence of this fraud. As the rerouted calls are not detected by the government as incoming international calls they are not assessed for the usual taxes. The other service providers lose their revenue from international interconnection charges.
Before the Police could fully investigate the crime, Novafone CEO, Chady Slim allegedly fled the country for neighbouring Sierra Leone. Novafone IT Supervisor, Hussein Dakroub is currently under arrest as police investigations continue.