The Syrian government has passed legislation to impose stricter penalties on individuals that ‘use fraudulent means’ to obtain access to telecommunications services. In a statement, the Ministry of Communication and Technology (MoCT) explained that the amendment targets those that violate the law by tampering with equipment to access telecoms services and avoid paying the associated fees. As such, the MoCT is aiming to protect the rights of customers and investors and to ensure that the government can collect the dues it is owed.
The new legislation – Legislative Decree No. 9 of 2021 – amends Article 67 of the Telecommunication Law No. 18 of 2010 to increase the penalty for obtaining telecoms services through fraudulent means with the intention of evading the payment of fees to between one and three years imprisonment and a fine of between SYP1 million and SYP4 million (USD1,950 and USD7,800). Previously, the punishment for the offence was a prison sentence of between three months and two years and a fine of between SYP50,000 and SYP500,000.