Home Business Ukraine Can Restore Criminal Liability for Telecom Equipment Theft

Ukraine Can Restore Criminal Liability for Telecom Equipment Theft



At the extraordinary meeting of the Board of the Internet Association of Ukraine (InAU), it was decided to create a stolen telecom equipment register on the Association’s technical facilities. For the time being, the Association has been working on the terms of reference to implement this project. At the same time, the InAU calls for criminalizing telecom equipment theft in Ukraine.

This register should provide an additional channel for the cooperation between telecom operators and the national police to prevent from using stolen equipment by other operators, as stated on the Association’s web site.

The telecom equipment theft is a painful problem for telecom operators and providers. Since the removal of separate articles on the liability for such crimes from the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the number of them has significantly increased. The law enforcement authorities are reluctant to register cable theft offenses, because the direct cable or equipment costs are relatively small, compared to losses from network idleness and recovery, while it is not so easy to prove operators’ losses, as the statement specifies.

The InAU underlines that it systematically advocate the need for restoring a separate criminal article on telecom equipment theft.

Thus, the InAU’s relevant proposal to the parliamentary hearing “Reforms of the ICT Industry and the Development of the Information Space” (see Letter №10 dated 20.01.2016 of the Verkhovna Rada’s Informatization and Communications Committee, referring to the Draft Recommendations of the Parliamentary Hearing “Reforms of the ICT Industry and the Development of the Information Space”) was taken into account and included in the final document based on the hearing results, i.e. the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of 31.03.2016, №1073-VIII.

This resolution recommended to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to elaborate and submit to the parliament the amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine on enhancing liability for intentional damaging of cable, radio relay, air communication line, wire broadcasting or facilities/equipment, which caused a temporary suspension of communication services.

As a result, such a document was drafted and registered, and this is the Draft Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine (On Enhancing Liability for Damaging of Telecommunications Networks) № 4497 dated 21.04.2016. Recently, it has been registered the draft resolution on approving in principle this draft law.

“The efficient telecom equipment antitheft will particularly allow for protecting the rights of consumers of telecommunications services. The stolen telecom equipment register, which is under InAU’s design, will ensure this antitheft efficiency due to additional mechanisms of cooperation between telecom operators and law enforcement authorities”, as stated by the Chairman of the Board of InAU Alexander Fedienko.