The Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat, which met in Parliament House with Kishwer Zehra in the chair, has directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to strictly check cellular numbers used in cybercrimes especially financially defrauding people. The committee further ordered the authority to also evaluate the performance of cellular companies to resolve the issues of weak mobile signals throughout the country.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Ali Muhammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, MNAs; Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, Khawaja Sheraz Mehmood, Ms. Uzma Riaz, Mr. Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Rana Iradat Sharif Khan, Ms. Shahnaz Saleem Malik, Ms. Seema Mohiuddin Jameeli, Mr. Raza Rabani Khar, Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur, Mover Mr. Naveed Aamir Jeeva, Secretary Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division and other officers of concerned departments.
PTA to vigilantly check cellular numbers used in cybercrimes
A representative from PTA informed the committee that it has regularly been monitoring fraudulent calls made from domestic and international numbers and had taken various measures with the help of cellular companies to stop such calls. He further informed the Committee that action had been initiated against the subscribers against whom complaints have been filed. The Committee was assured that the PTA would vigilantly monitor all illegal activities and misuse of cellular numbers.
Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act
In 2016, the National Assembly enacted the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (“PECA”) to provide a comprehensive legal framework to define various kinds of electronic crimes, mechanisms for investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of electronic crimes. Under Section 22, punishment of up to seven years or a fine of up to 5 million rupees or both has been prescribed for the offense of producing, distributing, or transmitting pornographic material.
The Representative of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed that cybercrimes are being dealt with under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. He informed that money fraudulently deducted from bank accounts does not fall under the purview of the PECA, and it must be dealt with by the State Bank of Pakistan. Regarding the issuing of illegal SIMs, the PTA representative told that the system has been refined for issuance of SIM through live detection of fingerprints.
Source: The Nation