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MOSCOW, January 4 (Itar-Tass) - Russia has tightened control over SIM-card sales in the country which henceforth require authorization of the mobile operator and a document of identification /passport/.
The amendments to the Law on Communications the Code of Administrative Offense, effective from January 1, list the places which the operator and its authorized agents can use to sell SIM-cards, prohibiting such trade in all mobile outlets except in the vehicles specially equipped for the purpose.
Authorized persons are to enter the data on subscribers and send this information to the operator within ten days after signing the contract. The new rules commit the operators to check the authenticity of the information about the subscriber.
The fines for offenders will range from 2,000 to 5,000 roubles. Officials will face fines of 10,000 to 50,000 roubles and legal entities might be fined 100,000 to 200,000 roubles. The failure to present a copy of the contract concluded with the subscriber is punished by fines of 2,000 to 5,000 roubles for citizens (if these actions do not constitute a penal act), 5,000 to 50,000 for officials and 100,000 to 200,000 roubles for legal entities.
Earlier, the author of the initiative to tighten SIM-card sale rules, deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament Sergei Zheleznyak /United Russia faction/ criticized the sale of SIM-cards in Russia as irregular, which made groundwork for misuse and fraud. According to official statistics, more than 70 percent of all false bomb threat calls come from the mobile phones registered with fake personal data.