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Botswana Clamps Down on Fake and Unapproved Mobile Phone Sales

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Botswana's telecoms regulator has warned mobile phone dealers that it is clamping down on the sale of counterfeit and uncertified handsets.

The regulator, BOCRA said that selling so called "fong kong" phones after August 31 could land the dealer with fines of up to P2 million (US$228,000) and/or jail terms of up to 10 years.

The regulator confirmed that it has the powers to penalise distributors of cellphones 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.

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Tags: bocra  Botswana