|Two Firms Prosecuted for Circumventing Etisalat |
Two Firms Prosecuted for Circumventing Etisalat
Dubai, U.A.E. -- April 5, 2001 (WAM) -- Two local companies which received telephone calls from the U.S. via the Internet and then directed them to UAE residents as local calls are being prosecuted in the Dubai Court of First Instance, Dubai-based English daily, "Gulf News", reported today. Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) has accused the companies, one of which is based in the Dubai Internet City, of illegally bypassing its service, thus depriving it of revenues on international calls.
The case has potentially grave consequences for UAE users of websites which offer free international calls through the Internet. Etisalat took action after receiving complaints that they were receiving international calls from the U.S. which were coming up as local calls on their telephones.
In the first case, two people were arrested last July 27 and several computers, files and 14 phones were seized.
The company had allegedly been using 15 telephone lines and a single line of 128-kilobyte capacity connected to the Internet to transfer calls from the U.S. to subscribers.
In the second raid, the Qatari owner of an information technology company operating in the Dubai Internet City, and a Qatari employee were taken to court for illegally using and transferring Etisalat services.
They all appeared in court on March 28 and are due to appear again on April 11 accused of conspiring with U.S. companies to enable international calls to circumvent Etisalat. Hamad Al Mehairi, managing partner of Emirates Advocates which represents Etisalat, said the four defendants had used Etisalat lines and one of its services in bad faith and without authorisation.
"These acts constitute a misdemeanour and are punishable by the UAE's laws and rules," he said. "Etisalat Corp has the full right over the missed calls in question."