Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) penalised the four largest mobile operators in the nation for illegally registering prepaid subscribers, issuing fines totalling VND777 million ($33,377), Tuoi Tre News reported.

An audit by the ministry conducted in October 2019 and November 2019 found Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone and Vietnamobile used fake information to register new customers, the newspaper wrote.

SIM registration requires a user’s full name, date of birth and national ID number. The ministry confiscated 6,900 SIM cards during the inspection.

The operators apparently used information from existing SIM card holders to sign up new subscribers, which were often sold to tourists who were not aware of registration requirements, Tuoi Tre News wrote.

Each operator was fined VND90 million, with retailers also penalised.

A total of five MNOs and two MVNOs operate in Vietnam following the launch of a virtual service by Mobicast last week.

GSMA Intelligence figures showed the country had 146 million mobile connections at end-March.