By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Five Chinese nationals found themselves behind bars in Walvis Bay on Saturday after being caught red-handed by Telecom Namibia and the Namibian Police for illegally using the Voice Over Internet Facility (VoIP). Officials from Telecom Namibia’s Fraud Monitoring Unit, assisted by members of the Namibian Police, raided three Chinese-owned shops at the coastal town where their owners had been operating illegal VoIP services for a considerable period of time. According to the authorities, the suspects were caught while attempting to sell the service to a member of the public. It is evident that for these illegal operators, the provision of VoIP to the public is an opportunity for ill-gotten income rather than an opportunity for better service, reads the latest Telecom press release. ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The suspects will be charged with violating the Postal and Telecommunication Act of 1992. The Act prohibits the provision of any telecommunication service by any person without a licence.ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Among the equipment confiscated was a 3 IP Stars Connection, a device that lets you make Internet phone calls without using a computer. The police confirmed that the calls made from the illegal lines totalled about N$106 601. By using such devices together with VoIP gateways, Multiplexes, modems and so on to bypass Telecom switches, the illegal operators are undermining the country’s laws as well as the viability of Telecom’s network by not paying Telecom Namibia right compensation. Illegal Net telephone operators are a pivotal challenge confronting not only Telecom Namibia but also the Namibian Government as a whole. These set-ups not only put the company’s rate/price structure at risk, but drastically reduce the tax benefits that could be reaped by the government and the citizens alike, the release says.
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