Mobile phone dealers in Botswana will now face a jail term of up to 10 years if caught selling counterfeit or unapproved mobile phones.
The country’s telecoms regulator has warned mobile phone dealers that it is clamping down on the sale of the so called “fong kong” phones after August 31 could land the dealer in jail for ten years and or pay a fine of up to P2 million (US$228,000).
The regulator confirmed that it has the powers to penalize distributors of cell phones that do not adhere to its recently published safety and quality standards.
All retailers and distributors will be required to demonstrate the devices’ certification with established international standards.
The regulator also advised customers to check that the phones contain a unique IMEI, as cloned serial numbers are often used in counterfeit phones.
By the end of last year, BOCRA estimates the country had 3.1 million mobile phone subscribers — a population penetration level of 150 percent.