The mastermind behind the illegal termination of international telephone traffic in Ghana, Hassan Nonni, was Wednesday sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court.
The convict interfered with international telephone traffic by making international calls as local ones, thereby denying the country and the service providers large amounts of revenue.
Nonni was apprehended at his hideout in Achimota, Accra, in November 2010.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of providing electronic communications service without a licence and knowingly obstructing and interfering with the sending, transmission, delivering and reception of communication.
The investigator in charge of the case was expected to testify when the case was called, but Nonni, who had earlier pleaded not guilty, decided to change his plea to guilty.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Bright Mensah, then found him guilty on both counts and sentenced him accordingly to five years’ imprisonment on both counts. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The facts of the case were that Nonni, a Ghanaian who has been resident in Italy for the past 23 years and holds an Italian passport, had in his possession at the time of his arrest sophisticated gadgets used in his illicit enterprise.
Experts identified them as a Cisco Router and three pieces of Telles IGate equipment which uses four megawatts user Internet account, each with 16 slot cards.
Also in his possession were 3,869 SIM cards, mainly from Vodafone and Zain.
Each of the SIM cards was capable of generating approximately US$40 and it had been estimated that his operations led to the loss of millions of dollars to telecom operators and the government.
His arrest followed a joint anti-fraud task force which was set up by the National Communications Authority (NCA), in conjunction with the telecom operators, to track down people involved in the fraudulent by-pass of international calls.
Source Graphic Ghana