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Myanmar mobile frequency tower near border poses security threat

Published : Thursday, 1 July, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 533

Myanmar has set up a mobile frequency tower on the border of Bangladesh. They are sending registered SIMs to Bangladesh by setting up a tower of a telecom company called MPT (Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications) in an area of about 20km from the country's Maungdaw border.
Criminals are using these SIMs. The Bangladesh government is not able to control their phone calls in any way.
The distance from the Myanmar border to Huaikeng Union is eight to 10km. A number of mobile phone frequency towers have been set up near      the Bangladesh border as you stand on the Tersa Bridge in Huaikeng. The distance from one tower to another will be one and a half to two kilometres.
Standing on the Tersa Bridge in Huaikeng, looking at the mobile phone in his hand, another frequency called 'MPT' appeared on the screen next to the frequency signal.  At present, this MPT has become the cause of the biggest headache for Bangladesh.
MPT is a state-owned entity in Myanmar, just like Teletalk in Bangladesh. According to the investigation, deals (transactions) of everything that is currently a threat to Bangladesh, including Yaba, are using MPT frequencies.
Besides, as a result of the installation of the tower, the regulatory body of the country is getting a lot of information about Bangladesh very easily.
Speaking to locals, it is learned that the use of MPT at the border is now an open secret. All departments of law enforcement including police know about the sale of this SIM. They said the MPT's towers were not so close to the border before.
In August 2019, a large Rohingya rally was held in Cox's Bazar forcing government to reduce Internet speed in the Rohingya camps around Cox's Bazar and Teknaf. In this opportunity, Myanmar got a chance to capture the market of Bangladesh. They use their state-owned company MPT for this purpose.
In the last one and a half years, MPT has set up at least 12 towers along the border. Before 2019, this number was 'zero'.
Not only that, they are offering low cost SIM cards and attractive minutes and internet to capture the market of about 11 lakh Rohingyas located on the border of Bangladesh. About one lakh MPT SIMs are already being used in Bangladesh. This SIM has become one of the means of communication for arms, Yaba and other drug smugglers.
To confirm the veracity of the information, the reporter bought an MPT SIM from the Unchiprang Rohingya Camp area of Teknaf for Tk 400. Where the SIM number is 0945439....MPT is contacted after purchasing it.
According to MPT, the SIM was registered in November 2020 in the name of Mong Min Wai Chit, a citizen of Myanmar. His passport number - 021....  But the SIM has been bought from Bangladesh.
In this way, many registered SIMs are being sent to the Rohingya camps from Myanmar.  While the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has control over the country's mobile operators, it has no control over MPT frequencies.  So the opportunists are carrying out various illegal activities by keeping the communication safe through MPT.




An unnamed Rohingya from the Balukhali camp in Ukhiya said that almost everyone in the camp has a mobile phone. SIMs are sold openly. However, MPT is sold secretly. MPT's recharge cards, minute cards are all available at the camp. Most Rohingyas use Robi SIM for communication in Bangladesh and MPT SIM for communication in Myanmar.
"We know this," said Mustafa Jabbar, a technology entrepreneur and Minister of Post and Telecommunications. The law enforcement also knows. But it is almost impossible for us to control or block the frequency or network of another country. They are using their network in Bangladesh. Once we know this, we need to find a way to block it. We have to see what BTRC is doing practically in this regard.
When asked, BTRC Commissioner (Spectrum) Engr AKM Shahiduzzaman said the network of one country has entered another country and there is no legitimacy to use it.  It is a cross border issue.  In our country they (Myanmar) cannot use their frequency. We block our network from being used in other countries as a cross border issue. Since you are saying that MPT's frequency is being used, we will not know it. We will send the protest to Myanmar through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Besides, we will find out about it officially soon. How, who is using it; we will look into that. This is because the use of the MPT's network involves state security.  In addition, its use in other crimes, including yaba and human trafficking, is certainly worrying.
MPT spokesperson Migla Par was contacted from Bangladesh regarding sending fake registration SIM to Bangladesh. He told that, "If any customer wants, he can change his national identity card number, passport number and nationality information by dialing *601 # (StarsixGeroOneHash)." Robi-Banglalink SIM in the hands of Rohingyas.



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