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Oman cuffs 212 for selling VoIP calls

Net phones verboten

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This year, police in the Arab nation of Oman have raided 121 internet cafes throughout the country and arrested 212 people for providing VoIP services, according to a local report.

"Around 212 accused of various Asian nationalities have been arrested since the beginning of the year [until October 26]," a senior police officer told Middle East and North Africa news outfit Menafn.

Providing telecom services without a license is illegal in Oman, and that includes VoIP. Those who violate the law stand to be fined 50,000 Omani Rial (about 130,317 US dollars) or spend two years in jail or both.

The senior police officer, who requested anonymity, told Menfn that both cyber cafes and individuals had been using VoIP to provide cheap international phone service, saying this resulted in huge losses for local telecoms.

"Most arrests were made after the Directorate General of Inquirires and Criminal Investigation was tipped off about people using the internet and some technical device to sell the cheap calling cards," he said. ®

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