Malaysia’s telecoms regulator fined six mobile operators a total of MYR700,000 ($168,500) for failing to verify the identity of new prepaid subscribers in 2019.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said U Mobile was hit with the largest penalty of MYR250,000, while Celcom Axiata and Tune Talk each was fined MYR150,000. Maxis must pay MYR100,000 for the SIM card registration errors, YTL Communications MYR40,000 and Tone Plus MYR10,000.

In a statement, the commission said the action reflects its “firmness and commitment” in ensuring the interests of users are always protected as well as ensuring the prepaid SIM card registration process complies with its guidelines.

The MCMC reminded operators it will take stern action against those failing to comply, adding they must use an automated platform that is encrypted and secure when registering new subscribers. A customer is limited to owning five SIM cards.