Successful Raid on Suspected Fraudulent Mobile Base Station

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) successfully mounted a raid operation against a suspected fraudulent mobile base station located in Sheung Shui yesterday (23 November 2017). During the operation, three sets of transmitting equipment were seized and a person was brought to the police station for further investigation. 

"Following comprehensive surveillance, OFCA mounted a raid operation yesterday evening to clamp down on a suspected fraudulent mobile base station.  Under the authority of a court warrant and with the assistance of the Police, OFCA officers successfully entered the target premises in Sheung Shui where the station was located," a spokesperson for OFCA said.

"This is the first fraudulent mobile base station identified in Hong Kong. Operating within the frequency band of public mobile services in Hong Kong, the fraudulent station imitated a 'genuine' station of public mobile networks in the Mainland and made signal connections with mobile phones subscribing to these Mainland's operators or inadvertently roamed to it as being used in the vicinity.  Once connected to the said station, mobile phone users would receive from the fraudulent station short messages, mostly about gambling and betting," the spokesperson continued. 

According to the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106), it is unlawful for any person to possess or use any apparatus for radiocommunications; or establish or maintain any means of telecommunications without an appropriate licence.  Any person who engages in such illegal activity contravenes section 8(1) of the Ordinance and is liable to prosecution.  Upon conviction¸ the offender is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment of five years.

"Should there be sufficient evidence after investigation, OFCA will institute prosecution against the party concerned in relation to the illegal transmitting equipment seized.  As unlicensed use of radio transmitters may cause harmful interference to legitimate spectrum users, OFCA will continue to take enforcement actions against illegal radiocommunications activities to ensure proper use of the radio spectrum," the spokesperson emphasised. 

Office of the Communications Authority
24 November 2017