Tuesday, 22 May 2018 11:25 GMT
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Jeddah's SIM card black market thriving



(MENAFN - Arab News) Consumers have been warned against purchasing phone SIM cards from unauthorized vendors.

'Several SIM cards are being sold by illegal expats particularly along Palestine Street' Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq Jeddah police spokesman told Arab News.

'More than 50 illegal vendors have recently been arrested for selling unauthorized SIMs.'

One vendor defended his business.

Thamer Saber a SIM card vendor told Arab News that he has been selling them for the past four years along a sidewalk in Jeddah's downtown area and has been getting the cards from various companies.

'Prices differ from one company to another but they are all legal and are obtained at decent prices after which they are sold to customers' he said.

Not all vendors do business the same way.

Khaled Hussien also a SIM card seller said he gets the cards from different telecom companies and that they are usually registered under the name of an anonymous worker who likely works at one of these companies.

'They are then easily transferred under the name of the customers if they wish' he said.

According to Hani Al-Yafi also a vendor most customers are illegal expats who do not have the documentation needed to buy these prepaid cards directly from the companies.

'Underage children also typically buy these SIM cards because they do not have proper identification to buy them legally' he said.

Prices widely vary from anywhere between SR400 and SR2000 or more a vast difference from the price of brand new SIM cards sold at SR50 to SR150.

Ali Ahmed a mobile shop owner on Palestine Street said these vendors are a nuisance and distract shop owners and customers.

'These sellers often sell cards that are still registered under the names of their original owners' he said. 'Authorities need to intervene and shut them down.'


Jeddah's SIM card black market thriving

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