A taxi driver who set up equipment allowing him to manipulate cellular network protocols has appeared in court facing charges of operating a telecommunication system without a licence.
Watson Gatsi manipulated incoming international calls to make them appear as local calls.
He appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube who remanded him to May 29 on $100 bail.
The complainant is the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), represented by its engineer, Mr William Crofate.
Local networks are also interconnected and pay each other interconnection fees for exchange of telecommunications traffic.
It is alleged that in January this year, Gatsi set up a telecommunications system, which allegedly allowed him access to international traffic all over the world.
It is alleged that Gatsi also acquired SIM boxes which received international terminating traffic in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
The SIM box has software to manipulate incoming international calls to appear as if they are originating from local mobile lines.
According to the State, Gatsi is not licensed to run such a telecommunications service.
On January 27, detectives received information from a fraud management specialist at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Mr Gift Zumbika, of the irregularity of international traffic by-pass.
It is alleged that some calls were diverted and appeared to be generated by Econet sim cards.
Gatsi was arrested the same day and he led the police to flat number 110 at Princess Place at the intersection of David Livingstone Avenue and Ninth Street.
He also led directives to flat number 34 at Dover Court, 1 Montagu Avenue at the intersection of Prince Edward Street and Josiah Chinamano Avenue.
The machines were recovered and disconnected.
Source: The Herald