LTA Uncovers ‘Massive SIM Box’ Fraud

first_imgThe Liberia Telecommunications Authority ‘s Anti-Fraud Unit uncovered the largest illegal SIM Box network operation late Thursday and with the help of the Justice Ministry took possession of close to 3,000 unregistered active SIM Cards used to facilitate grey routing. Acting Chairperson and Commissioner of Licensing and Regulations, B. Anthony McCritty, serving his first term at the LTA said, “This is a great day for the LTA, and this is a great day for the telecom sector and despite the challenges we are facing now with Ebola, this is a great day for Liberia. We want to send a message to fraudsters that Liberia’s spectrum will not be abused. We will pursue violators to the highest extent of the law and continue to be vigilant.”If you have ever received an international call that appears on your cell phone as a local number you have been a recipient of an illegally routed call. It is called Grey Routing — a route that is legal for one country or the party on one end, but illegal on the alternative end.This practice is one on a sharp national increase, robbing the telecommunications sector of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Fraudsters use a SIM Box which is about the size of a DVD player to house unregistered SIM Cards connected to their network.  Incoming international calls are then diverted from the designated GSM Service Provider and government signal routing points to illegal SIM Box terminals making international calls appear as local.The LTA sting operation has been long in the planning. Agents detected signals from the Broad Street location, opposite the old Education Ministry months ago through LTA’s SIM Box Detector equipment.  A warrant to search the premise and seize the equipment used in the fraudulent operation had to be channeled through the Justice Ministry in the form of a petition providing evidence of LTA’s findings.  Records of SIM Box activity through data from the detector were submitted to support the petition. With enough evidence submitted to the Justice Ministry the courts approved the petition, issued a warrant, assigned a sheriff, and the LTA Anti Fraud Team moved in.The location   kjis the Uptown Building near the Corner of Broad and Mechlin Streets.  An iron door on the second floor where the signals were coming from prevented entry to the actual apartment.  No one answered the knocks to serve the warrant and after several hours of waiting the LTA had to once again seek court clearance to break through the iron door with the help of welders. This took a couple of hours.Once inside, LTA Agents and the court Sheriff came face to face with the largest SIM Box operation in the history of the LTA.The apartment was totally empty except for the equipment used to execute Grey Routing elaborately set up across a table and in full operation.  No one was in the apartment at the time of the raid so there were no arrests.  Neighbors living in the building say they seldom see anyone coming or going out of the apartment.  It is unclear who owns or leases the premise.The equipment seized will remain in police custody pending further investigation.  All the Sim Cards seized were from the Lonestar Service Provider.The LTA will of course launch a detailed investigation into how much the sector loss due to the illegal operation of the SIM Cards employed in the use of the SIM box.  The minutes accrued on each card will be tallied through the system and converted to a monetary value. This will take some time.  LTA’s International Gateway Monitoring System Director Richardson Ndorbor said his team were patient and executed well, “ we like to do our best to keep our operations successful in curtailing telecom fraud, this discovery and seizure of equipment is a strong message to fraudsters, it took us some time but it was well worth the wait.”Last year over USD$400,000.00 was lost in the sector due to one SIM Box operation and a total of three separate cases are pending in the courts for possible prosecution on charges of Economic Sabotage.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

COUNCIL SEEKS WHEREABOUTS OF ‘MISPLACED’ ANCIENT CROSS

first_imgDonegal County Museum is seeking information on the current location of an archaeological artefact – the Glennagivney stone cross slab.The stone is decorated with a wheeled (round) Latin cross carved in relief.The stone cross-slab, which measures 61cm long and 15cm x 8cm width.  was found in a ringfort the Townland of Glennagivney near Moville. The cross slab was removed for safekeeping and was in the possession of Mr. T. O’ Kane until he died in 1973, when it was removed to the Parochial House in Moville.The last known location for the cross slab was Moville Parish Church, where it was on public display in the church before renovations started in c. 2008 after which it disappeared.Parishioners have said they remember seeing the cross during renovation and now Parish Priest Fr Pat O’Hagan has contacted the County Museum to send out an appeal for its whereabouts.Grave-slabs give us a small window into the life of the early Church in County Donegal. While grave-slabs like this were used up into the later-medieval period, this type represent some of the earliest Christian artwork to be put onto stone in Ireland. Latin cross slabs are usually 10th Century in date.A spokesperson for Donegal County Museum appealed for information on the cross slab’s current location and the return of the slab.If anyone has any information, please contact Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal T 074 9124613 E museum@donegalcoco.ie COUNCIL SEEKS WHEREABOUTS OF ‘MISPLACED’ ANCIENT CROSS was last modified: January 23rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

STORM ALERT: DONEGAL AIRPORT KNOCKED OUT BY LIGHTNING STRIKE

first_imgDonegal Airport has been put out of operation after it was struck by lightning this evening.Vital equipment at the airport was damaged leading to a cancellation of flights.Tomorrow morning’s flights to and from the airport have also been cancelled. Engineers will be on site tomorrow morning in a bid to repair the damage.Passengers are currently being bussed to and from Dublin.It comes as winds begin to pick up speeds across the country ahead of a code red storm warning for this evening.Donegal may escape the worst of the storm but winds are expected to increase across the North West again tomorrow. If you have any storm damage report please contact info@donegaldaily.com.We will publish all reports once they are verified. STORM ALERT: DONEGAL AIRPORT KNOCKED OUT BY LIGHTNING STRIKE was last modified: December 26th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal Airportlightning strikestormlast_img read more

Affordable Housing vs an Upscale Parking Lot in Maine

first_imgShare14TweetShare1Email15 SharesAugust 3, 2015; Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME)Sometimes public-private partnerships that enjoy the support of local government still manage to generate controversy among local communities.The city council of Portland, Maine, is about to give a nonprofit housing developer a 22-year tax break worth more than $700,000 to subsidize the construction of a four-story affordable housing complex in one of the city’s upscale neighborhoods. The project would provide 37 units of new housing for people with limited incomes, but according to the Portland Press Herald it has drawn opposition from some neighbors, both over the loss of parking as well as whether affordable housing fits the historic neighborhood.Avesta Housing says the project will provide workforce housing at a time of high demand and low vacancy rates, and that the waiting list is already long. Avesta’s executive director told the paper that the number of people who have contacted it for housing in the past six months is up 27 percent over last year, while rents in Portland have increased 17.4 percent—the second-highest rate in the U.S., according to Zillow.The half-acre site of the proposed development is being reviewed by the city’s planning and historic preservation boards. The property is currently a parking lot, and opponents are concerned about the loss of spaces and the lack of on-street parking, with one longtime resident claiming the loss of parking may force her to move.Avesta Housing bought the half-acre parking lot and two apartment buildings in 2011 for $6.2 million, and is investing almost $11.5 million into the project, which would have parking spots on site along with the 37 apartments.The housing will be set aside for individuals and families who make at or below 40 to 60 percent of the Portland area’s median income, with rents ranging from $540 to $1,044 a month. The rents are made affordable by taking advantage of housing tax credits offered by Maine Housing and a tax increment financing deal with the city.During the 22-year tax break the council is considering, the nonprofit developer would keep 65 percent of the new tax revenue generated; after 22 years, the city would receive all of the taxes. The local city councilor supports the project and the tax break, saying, “We have a housing crisis.”One local neighborhood association is staying out of the divisive project debate, although another is already on record in opposition, objecting to the loss of parking as well as to the use of tax revenue to subsidize affordable housing.—Larry KaplanShare14TweetShare1Email15 Shareslast_img read more